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December 30, 2016

Metro Transit and local law enforcement encourage revelers to “Choose Your Designated Driver"


New Year’s Eve revelers can make a cost free, potentially life-saving choice Saturday by choosing Metro Transit operators as their designated drivers.

Local law enforcement agencies, including the Minneapolis and Saint Paul police departments, Hennepin County and Ramsey County Sheriff’s Offices and the Minnesota State Patrol are calling on people to take advantage of free rides on all Metro Transit vehicles starting at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve running until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

“We look forward to inviting everyone on our buses and trains as we join with our partners, working to ensure all those who travel with us get to their festivities and homes safely,” said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb.

With the help of J.J. Taylor Distributing and the Miller Lite Free Rides program, Metro Transit operators have given more than 1.3 million cost free rides over the span of nearly 20 years of providing rides on New Year’s Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day. Many of those rides represents someone who planned ahead and chose to have a Metro Transit operator be their designated driver.

“Miller Lite® is proud to partner with these transit providers to provide safe and free rides to Twin Cities residents and visitors,” said Diane Wagner, Responsibility Commerce Manager at MillerCoors. “Working together with Metro Transit and J.J. Taylor Distributing, we will help people have a great time this New Year’s Eve and get home safely.”

Whether it be a Metro Transit operator or a friend serving as a designated driver, it is a much better choice than to drink and get behind the wheel, driving on roads where law enforcement officers will be ready to give drivers under the influence a ride to jail. So far in 2016, thousands of Metro Area drivers have had their lives changed when they took that ride.

“In Minneapolis alone, our police officers have arrested 697 drivers for DWI,” said Minneapolis Police DWI Officer Steve Wuorinen. “Don’t become number 698 this weekend.”

The METRO Green and Blue Line light rail trains and several local bus routes are in service past midnight. Metro Transit police officers will be riding trains, buses and patrolling the community with partnering agencies, working to ensure safe rides for all riders.

Riders can plan their trips through Metro Transit’s Trip Planner available online at or through the agency’s mobile app. Riders can also call the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333. Free rides will also be available on Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Anoka County Traveler routes.

Nationally, the Miller Lite Free Rides program has provided more than 5.5 million rides since its inception in 1987. This year, the program also services transit riders in Duluth, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and D.C.

 “As a member of the Twin Cities community for more than 30 years, we’re proud to partner with Miller Lite and Metro Transit to continue the Free Rides tradition on New Year’s Eve,” said Billie Jo Smith of J.J. Taylor Distributing. 

For more information on New Year's Eve routes and the Miller Lite Free Rides program, click here.

To see hear directly from a bus operator and local law enforcement, click here.




Metro Transit:                                     Public Relations Manager Howie Padilla, 651-788-1904

Minneapolis Police Department:        Sgt. Catherine Michal, 612-401-2026

Saint Paul Police Department:            Sgt. Mike Ernster, 651-755-7195

Minnesota State Patrol:                       Lieutenant Tiffani Nielson, 651-343-4680

Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office:    Sgt. John Eastham, 651-266-3421

Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office:       Jon Collins, 612-919-5918