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Here’s how to get free rides in Tampa on New Year’s Eve

Uber is offering discounted rides, too.

The city of Tampa has worked with several partners to ensure people celebrating New Year’s Eve downtown are able to get safely to and from their destinations.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will offer free rides on all fixed-routes throughout the county beginning at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The agency is not extending its hours though. Riders should check the agency’s website to find out what times routes stop running. Most major routes stop running at about midnight so some riders may need to secure alternative transportation for their trip home.

The TECO Line Streetcar System will have extended hours for its free service in downtown and Ybor City. The Streetcar will operate until 2 a.m.

For those attending the city’s inaugural New Yarrgh’s Eve Booty Drop at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown, Uber is offering $10 off up to two trips to or from the park. Use the code SAFERIDETPA to obtain the discount.

The code is good from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 12:30 a.m.To obtain the discount, select the “payment” option from the menu in the Uber app and then scroll down to promotions. From there riders can select the “add promo code” field and enter the code.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is launching the new event as her second token event. The night will feature a “booty drop” countdown to midnight in which a countdown clock and digital image of a giant treasure chest will be projected on the side of Rivergate Tower. The treasure chest with “drop” down the side of the building similarly to how the ball drops in Time Square during its iconic New Year’s Eve countdown celebration.

“In Tampa, we don’t drop the ball on City traditions—but we will be dropping a treasure chest instead.” Castor quipped. “I’m so excited for Tampa to embrace another new tradition that will bring our community together to ring in 2020 and many more years to come.”

Private partners including. iHeartMedia, Amgen and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino are helping to fund the event, put on in partnership with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

The event is free and family friendly. Food and beverages options will also be available for purchase.

The party starts at 9 p.m. and runs until 12:30 a.m.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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