As the proverbial ball begins to drop on this New Year's Eve, there's plenty to eat, do, and drink, as we've underscored in this guide to the best fetes in town. While getting home is no party, everyone in the transportation game wants a piece of the action, from Uber to Lyft to Flywheel to, yes, Muni. So take a look to see what each has planned, and most importantly, stay safe.
For starters, you can keep an eye on the undisputed surge price king with this handy price tracker, Uber Forecast. It comes straight out of the Mission district and uses Uber's own API against them, but it's admittedly been spotty on occasion. Uber has issued their own blog post/disclaimer, stating that they expect the night to be their busiest on record: "This New Year’s Eve we expect to deliver more than 2 million rides in just 24 hours." Caveat emptor, everybody.
Lyft will be upping their prices, too, and are along with Uber joining forces with MADD, offering a $1-per-ride donation to the advocacy group from NYE rides. Lyft is also already guaranteeing its drivers 50% or more "Prime Time" from 7:00-10:00 p.m. and from 1:00-3:00 a.m., so you can count on that fare hike already.
Taxis: they're like Rideshare but yellow and regulated, meaning prices can't surge. As a result, cabbies are hoping they can get a chunk of your business this holiday with a public relations offensive. For example, Flywheel's hail a cab app for will offer a flat $10 rate for San Francisco from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 3 a.m. Thursday. It's an expensive promotion for them, but it might pay off for you, so perhaps download the app if you don't already have it.
Additionally, a select few cabs will be provided gratis rides are gratis. Kudos to Berg Injury Lawyers for picking up the tab on this one, which could be a literal lifesaver. It's called the Safe and Sober Program, but would-be riders take note: you have to call Luxor Cabs in advance and take the ride home, not to the next party or bar.
Don't tag your clipper card on Muni Wednesday night/Thursday morning, since Muni is entering its 15th year of free NYE service. Here's the information about service running from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., with extra Owl service added.
For New Year’s reveler taking Caltrain back out of town, service will be free starting at 8 p.m.. Also scheduled are extra southbound trains after midnight for those headed back down the Peninsula. Take note: open containers are prohibited, and trains past San Jose will not operate.
We covered the coming BART madness here, but the headline is that BART runs till 3 a.m. and that the skip-stop shell game continues this year.
Be safe and have fun on NYE. Should old acquaintance be forgot... as in should you completely lose your friends, it's probably best to take that free cab home.