Miller Lite sponsoring New Year's Eve DC Metro rides

Greg Nash

Beer company Miller Lite is picking up the tab for rides on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail subway system on New Year's Eve, the two groups announced on Thursday. 

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates the D.C. Metro, said Miller Lite is paying for service between midnight and 3 a.m. on Dec. 31 to help New Year's Eve revelers get home safely and cut down on drunk driving. 

The transit agency said passengers will have to use fare cards or passes to enter and exit train stations but they will be not charged because MillerCoors is footing the bill. The free rides will be offered on all six D.C. Metro subway lines and all of the agency's bus routes. 

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The beer company said it is glad to help reduce the likelihood of accidents involving drunk drivers on New Year's Eve. 

“We’re excited to bring our flagship Miller Lite Free Rides program to Washington, D.C. for the first time on New Year’s Eve,” said Diane Wagner, who is responsibility commerce manager for Miller Lite's parent company, MillerCoors. 

“Our partnership with Metro is part of MillerCoors overall commitment to help prevent drunk driving by bringing alcohol responsibility programs to more markets," Wagner continued. "Working together, Miller Lite, Metro and Premium Distributors will help ensure people have a great time this New Year’s Eve and get home safely from their celebrations.” 

Metro officials said they hoped the free rides would encourage more New Year's Eve revelers to opt for transit in lieu of driving to their destinations where alcohol will be consumed. 

"I am pleased to announce this exciting new partnership with Miller Lite to support safe transportation for our customers on New Year’s Eve,” new Metro General Metro Paul Wiedefeld said. 

“We hope this promotion will encourage those celebrating across the region to leave the driving to us this holiday," he continued. 

Metro is the second busiest transit system in the U.S., trailing only the New York City subway.