Safe rides for New Year's Eve

 The big message from Michiana police tonight is, don't even think about getting behind the wheel if you've had a few too many drinks. Traditionally, you might call a cab, creatively, you might call a friend. And this year there's a new option, Uber.

Uber is an app that connects those looking for a ride with a personal driver. It's fairly new to the area and started in South Bend about four months ago. A lot of people may be trying the app for the first time and here are some quick facts to remember for New Year's Eve. 

Lieutenant Tim Williams says the name of the game every New Year's Eve is making sure after the party is over, folks arrive home safely.

“We are going to bounce around the county and do a traffic enforcement to try and deter that person from drinking and driving. We have a large number of officers working in a small area so we are going to move around the county,” says Lieutenant Williams. 

If you plan to knock back a few adult beverages, your best bet is to stay away from the driver's seat. If you can't find a friend a local Uber driver has some advice. 

“Well you need a smart phone, and fare is more reasonable than cabs,” says Philip Badger, a local Uber driver.  

Badger is one of South Bend's original Uber drivers. He says all you have to do is download the app to your smart phone, request a driver, and the fare appears right on your screen. But New Year's Eve is a night you want to watch that clock for more than one reason. Right after the clock strikes midnight Uber prices can increase drastically.

“They have what is called a surge but the only time I encountered it was two or three times after a football game,” says Badger.  

A surge is where Uber charges more of a premium for rides because so many people are in demand of the service. Uber recommends either requesting right when that ball drops or waiting a couple of hours after. But some in the area don't mind paying a premium for the service they receive. 

“You are going to call an actual person. You are not just flagging down some Joe Schmoe. An actually person will contact you on your phone, calls you, and lets you know where they are, their eta, and gets there on time.” Says a local radio host Big Perm. 

If you opt for a more traditional ride, Nick Yassine manager of Michiana Transportation says he has increased his number of drivers for the night and is ready for the crowd. 
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