Ride-Hailing Apps Will Be Busy on St. Patrick's Day

Some communities are even offering discounts to persuade partiers to leave their cars at home.

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DOMINICK REUTER—AFP/Getty Images

Drinking and driving is a bad idea. Fortunately, ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are ready to do the driving for you so you can kick back and enjoy St. Patrick's Day to the fullest.

St. Patrick's Day is the one day each year when everyone thinks they're Irish, regardless of their actual heritage—particularly in the Boston area where I live. This year the day of traditional heavy drinking lands on a Saturday, which means no worries about calling out of work sick, drunk, dead, or all of the above the day afterward.

Uber and Lyft are each offering free St. Patrick's Day rides in some cities to help encourage partiers not to get behind the wheel. For example, IndyStar reports that Uber rides in Indianapolis, Indiana will be free up to a $15 value. 

Not to be outdone, USA Today reports that Lyft will offer a variety of discounts in Maricopa County, Arizona, thanks to a partnership with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. "This offer should be embraced by people as a way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day without posing a risk to themselves or others on our roads and highways," County Attorney Bill Montgomery told USA Today.

On the other hand, the infamous surge pricing for these services could cause ride prices to increase due to high St. Patrick's Day demand, reports WKYC3. While hailing an Uber or Lyft should be encouraged if you're going to party, surge pricing could push some people away from it.

One solution is to simply not be in a hurry. If you notice a surge is in effect, don't hail a ride. Just wait a little while for demand to decrease, then hail your ride once the prices go down.

And please, be respectful of your drivers, and don't make a mess in their cars. It's not only rude, it also requires them to clean up the mess before they can accept more rides, which takes money out of their pockets.