“Ride Smart” initiative pairs Lyft, local breweries and wineries


Lyft has launched its Ride Smart Maryland initiative — a program to increase responsible ride alternatives and overall rideshare usage to-and-from area wine, beer and spirits tasting venues and consumer events. In partnership with 53 breweries, wineries and distilleries across the state, the program will provide discounted rides to encourage patrons to leave their cars at home.

“We are excited to be partnering with the craft beer, spirits and wine industries to help people enjoy the amazing breweries, wineries and distilleries Maryland has to offer without having to worry about your ride home,” says Mike Heslin, Lyft’s Baltimore market manager. “Now you can relax and enjoy your favorite drinks, then let Lyft get you to wherever you are going safely.”

To launch the initiative, Lyft partnered with the Maryland Wineries Association, Brewers Association of Maryland and Maryland Distillers Guild to promote the Maryland craft alcohol industry and reduce overall instances of impaired driving.

“We want Lyft to be an enabler of good decision making and in doing so, make our roads safer,” Heslin says. “That’s goal number one, is to be that nudge toward smarter decision making when people are out enjoying themselves and to potentially even make it a viable option to go out and enjoy Maryland craft beer, wine and spirits when you otherwise wouldn’t.”

Goal number two, according to Heslin, is to be both a partner and supporter of the craft alcohol industry in Maryland. The industry contributes $3.4 billion to the economy and is “one that is really well aligned with our core value of innovation and creativity,” he says. “You see some of the work that these makers across beer, wine and spirits are doing, and the vibrancy they are bringing to their communities and our economy and it really is impressive.”

As part of the program, staff at the participating companies will be given free or discounted Lyft ride coupons to distribute to customers. The tickets vary in dollar amount and were provided by Lyft at no cost to the businesses. Participating venues also will have a designated Lyft pickup and drop-off location.

“It is essentially a pool of $200 in credits that are broken up into 20 different $10 free ride cards,” he says. “When someone has been overserved or is otherwise in need of a way to get home, they can give them one of these cards and that person can take a free Lyft ride home.”

Each participating venue will also have their own unique user code to give out to riders, Heslin adds. Every venue also has a unique new user code they will promote on social media that will give new users a $10 credit. Those new users can refer other users and receive $5 credits.

Heslin said he hopes that by leveraging partnerships with this local businesses, it will only increase the safety on the roads, particularly with the upcoming holidays.

“This partnership with Lyft is exciting because it helps us in our mission to promote responsible consumption and celebrate a thriving industry,” he says.


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