LYFT Up Charlotte Project to Provide Alternatives to Driving Impaired During the Holidays
Cory Burkarth
LYFT Up Charlotte

RALEIGH- Charlotte residents will have some new options to stay safe this holiday season thanks to a unique partnership of local groups, state traffic safety experts and a major ride share provider.

The Governors Highway Safety Association and national rideshare company, Lyft, are teaming up with the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local partners for the “LYFT Up Charlotte” project, which will provide $10 Lyft ride credits for patrons from Dec. 14, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021. This program coincides with the state’s Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign.

Local partners include Atrium Health, the City of Charlotte, Charlotte Department of Transportation, Vision Zero Task Force, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving North Carolina.

The project will focus on Plaza Midwood, North Davidson (NoDa), University Area, South End and Montford Drive areas.

The “LYFT Up Charlotte” project is funded through a grant jointly administered by the national Governor’s Highway Safety Association and Lyft.

Interested riders will download the Lyft app and use the ride code “KeysFreeNC” to receive the $10 ride credit. The campaign will also distribute face coverings to Lyft customers, restaurants, bars and grocery stores. The ride credits will be available from Dec. 14, 2020, until Jan. 3, 2021, in the evenings, in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order.

“We know that driving while impaired is still causing serious injuries, death, broken families, and added stress for our Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “Through the creation of ‘LYFT up Charlotte,’ we welcome the opportunity to team up with the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Lyft, and Atrium Health to add more protections for Charlotte drivers, passengers, and their loved ones.”

"Impaired driving is an old problem in search of new solutions," said Mark Ezzell, director of the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program. "The LYFT Up Charlotte project is an innovative way to partner with Charlotte leaders to utilize Lyft's strong footprint to make Queen City roads safer during the holiday season."

This program is even more critical this year as recently released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data for the first half of 2020 found that while traffic volume was down significantly, alcohol-related fatalities did not fall at a similar rate. North Carolina drivers who were on the road during this period were also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving and not buckling up.

“At Atrium Health, we continue even during COVID-19 to see over 50% of our road victims with serious injuries present with some level of impairment,” said Kyle Cunningham, MD, MPH, trauma surgeon at Atrium Health, one of the project’s key partners. “We are glad to work with Lyft, the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the City of Charlotte’s Vision Zero partners to promote a program for safe rides during the holidays. We also hope it will impact the way individuals make future decisions by demonstrating safe and available alternatives to driving while impaired,"

For those who have a social media platform, show NCGHSP how you are establishing good driving behaviors as a lifelong commitment. Mention NCGHSP on Facebook and tag @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram with #KeysFreeNC and #NCGHSP to show that you are celebrating this Holiday season safely so you don’t “Booze It & Lose It. For media inquiries, contact The Governor’s Highway Safety Program Communications Specialist Miracle King at 919.814.3657 or