Birmingham Yellow Cab offers safe rides

Birmingham Yellow Cab is expanding the company’s Safe Ride Home program, in which bars and restaurants can sign up to have intoxicated customers taken home for free.

Ellis Houston, a general partner in Yellow Cab, said while no Shelby County establishments have signed up yet, he’s looking for some to join soon.

“It was always our intention to provide this service in our service area,” he said. “And our service area goes out into the outlying areas of Birmingham, such as Hoover and Pelham.”

Interested establishments can just sign up with Yellow Cab for free.

“The customer can request the safe ride home, or the bar manager or restaurant manager can ask the customer if they want a safe ride home,” Houston said. “The establishment calls us and we take it from there.”

Customers’ keys are placed inside an envelope with Yellow Cab’s information, as well as information about where the customer was picked up.

“We take people home regularly, and they don’t know where they were or where their car is,” Houston said.

In 2009, Yellow Cab transported hundreds of intoxicated customers to their homes through the Safe Ride Home Program.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community. We look at it as, we took several hundred inebriated drivers off the streets,” Houston said.

Yellow Cab has been operating the Safe Ride Home program in Birmingham for a year. The program will run for at least another year, but additional funding will become necessary, Houston said.

“At some point, we need to bring in additional sponsors,” he said.

For more information on the Safe Ride Home program, contact Birmingham Yellow Cab at 328-4444.