Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) wants to make sure you have a designated driver for Hempfest, Seattle’s annual cannabis celebration. So they’re partnering with Lyft to give away discounts on rides to and from the festival.
SDOT says the effort is part of Vision Zero, their goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on Seattle streets by 2030. They say that in Seattle, impairment contributes to about 20 percent of fatal crashes each year.
It follows that some folks might be impaired after attending the festival—so the Lyft rides give people another option for transportation.
“It made a lot of sense to address the issue of cannabis-impaired driving,” Todd Kelsay, Seattle general manager for Lyft. They’ve worked with SDOT on drunk driving education before, noted Kelsay, so it made sense to participate. “So much of [Vision Zero] is obviously about safety, and that ties into our mission at Lyft.”
The discount code, HEMPFEST17, works for both new and existing users, and gives $10 each off two trips. “We want to get you home too,” said Kelsay. (Side note: It could also work for two days driving a Car2Go or riding transit there and riding a Lyft back.)
Lyft also has a booth at the event with fizzy water and snacks. (No pink bongs—we asked.) They’ll will continue similar promotions “throughout the year in conjunction with SDOT” at “various events,” said Kelsay.
This also isn’t the first cute city program in response to Hempfest. Back in 2013, the first Hempfest after Washington State voted to legalize cannabis, Seattle Police Department officers handed out bags of Doritos with stickers explaining the new law. (This tactic was later referred to in internal documents as “a controversial distribution of snack foods.”)