Downtown Lafayette is crammed with bars and restaurants of every shape and size, serving up a tall cocktail of beverage options from domestic beers to artisan mixologies. It's a welcome business for Gus Rezende, owner of Jefferson Street Pub and founding president of the nascent Downtown Lafayette Restaurant and Bar Association, but one he hopes to make safer for visitors and drivers via a new partnership with global ride share giant Uber.
Since May 10 Downtown diners and drinkers hitting up Uber for designated driving duties can use the promo code LAFDOWNTOWN for $20 off their first ride and a $3 kickback to DLRBA for use in the nonprofit's other initiatives like the ongoing Sunday Clean Up. While Rezende doesn't expect much in the way of financial gain from the program, he sees it as opportunity to fill a much needed gap in Downtown Lafayette's transportation options. To that end, DLRBA has also promoted the use of locally owned car service SHOFA Transportation as a transit option for those looking to get a safe buzz Downtown.
"Our service mission as an association is to connect the dots of what's missing in the Downtown Lafayette night life," says Rezende. "Services like UBER and SHOFA give Downtown an opportunity to be [Lafayette's] hospitality district."
UBER began operation in Lafayette at the beginning of this year, following Baton Rouge and New Orleans as the third Louisiana city to open its streets to the ride share service. Since forming in 2009, UBER has opened in hundreds of cities across the world, providing an alternative to public transit and cab services via independent local drivers.
Riders can access the service via Uber's free phone app that connects users with nearby drivers on an on-demand basis.