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Get around safely for free on New Year’s Eve


If you plan to hit the town on New Year’s Eve, you and thousands of other party-goers will face the question of how to get safely home after midnight. When it’s impossible to get a cab or an Uber, it might be tempting to just hop in a car and get home — but driving under the influence, as we all know, isn’t safe and the consequences can be life changing (or life ending).

Luckily, you have options — and two of them are completely free!

Take the San Francisco Muni Metro for free on New Year’s Eve

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency is offering free rides to anyone on Muni Metro this Thursday night, so you can get home safely without spending a dime.

“As it has it done in the last 16 years, the transit agency will once again provide free Muni service starting at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 and lasting until New Year’s day at 5 a.m.,” reports the SF Bay blog. “Riders should not tag their Clipper Cards during this time, because the machines will still deduct fares.”

If you are in the city and want to get home for free when you’re done celebrating, you’ll be able to get a free ride to just about anywhere in the city well after midnight.

SF Bay continues:

“Muni Metro service between West Portal and Embarcadero stations will extend to 4 a.m. and service to Fourth and King Streets will continue until 2:15 a.m. Buses will replace the F-Market/Wharves historic streetcars at 4 p.m. Cable car service will also be replaced by bus service after 8 p.m.

Extra Owl service will run from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and the 1-California will have extra service between Drumm Street to Presidio Avenue from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.”

Ride your bike when you hit the town on New Year’s Eve

If you decide to take your bicycle out on New Year’s Eve to avoid the crowds in line for cabs, car shares, or the free Muni rides, there are still some tips you should keep in mind so you can stay safe out on the roads on your way home.

First, remember that you should never ride your bike under the influence. It is in violation of the law and you can face DUI charges just like someone behind the wheel of a car would (although you wouldn’t face jail time or fines above $250).

However, it is still not worth the risk — just like driving a car, if you are unsafely inebriated, your reflexes and responses will not be able to keep you safe when you are cycling home, and you are even more vulnerable when you are on a bike. Not only could you hurt a fellow cyclist or pedestrian, you could be seriously hurt or killed in an accident with a car.

Make sure that you are outfitted with safety equipment for riding at night. This means having a helmet, wearing reflective clothing or having reflective decals on your bike, and using a light to make you more visible on the road.

If you can, plot your route home before you head out for the night. You don’t want to be fiddling with your phone looking for directions while you’re riding, which could cause you to get into an accident. You can also try looking up different routes to see which ones are the most bike-friendly. You’ll want to look for roads that are well lit and not too heavily trafficked by cars that could be a danger to you.

Finally, give yourself enough time to get home so that you don’t have to rush. Slowing down can help you avoid accidents, which will allow you to get home safely and happily so you can enjoy all that 2016 has to offer you.

No matter what you do this New Year’s Eve, do it safely! Happy New Year, and see you in 2016!