Academic Year Service
Thursday-Saturday 10PM-2AM
No Service
Sunday-Wednesday, Summer, finals weeks, Winter break, and Spring break
$3.00/ride upon entering the vehicle
$2.00/pass when purchased in advance from the Unitrans business office
(530) 752-6666
Parent Organization
Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD)

Director: Jay Chou

Tipsy Taxi is an ASUCD unit that provides a safe ride home from anywhere within the City of Davis for undergraduate UC Davis students (not for the general public). The cost is just $3.00, with telephone requests starting at 10PM stopping at 2AM. Though reg cards are not generally checked, this is an undergraduate service subsidized by ASUCD; drivers may check for valid reg cards, and failure to show one results in no ride. As this is a popular service, the phone line is often queued: a recent phone system upgrade allows up to six callers to wait on hold for their calls to be answered in the order they were received — no more chance redialing in hopes of getting through eventually. Beginning September 2011, Students can also go on to the Tipsy Taxi website to use the live chat feature or to requested a ride in advance. Be ready to tell your current location, where you want to go, and how many people are in your party.

Tipsy Taxi passes are now available. They are available in the Unitrans business office in South Hall Room 5 for $2 each. Each pass can be used only once; passes are collected upon the passenger's entrance on to the vehicle. Cash, personal checks, and money orders only (made out to ASUCD Specialized Transportation Services). Credit and debit cards are currently not accepted.

The goal of Tipsy Taxi is to get students home safely, not to take them "party-" or "bar-hopping" from one bar or party to the next. The unit has faced many problems with the city on this issue, so the current policy states that Tipsy Taxi will only pick up and drop off at an authorized Unitrans bus stop. Person(s) do NOT have to be tipsy to ride Tipsy Taxi. The driver (at his or her discretion) reserves the right to refuse service to really intoxicated person(s). If you are really intoxicated, you need medical attention.

Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited and will result in the offending product and/or rider being asked to leave the vehicle. It is inconsiderate of riders to bring alcohol onto the vehicle, as it could result in a variety of costly violations should the vehicle be stopped (all of which are the financial responsibility of the driver), and may include termination of the driver's job. Respecting these rules helps guarantee continuation of the service.

While the possession of an open container is probably prohibited by Tipsy Taxi regulations, in this situation it is not prohibited by law and would not result in “costly violations” for the driver. See California Vehicle Code V.C. 23229 - Possession of Alcoholic Beverages: Exceptions

Tipsy Taxi was originally $1 and was raised to $1.50 in the 2005-2006 ASUCD Budget. The ASUCD Senate voted to raise the fee again in the 2006-2007 budget, bringing it to $2.00. Thursday service and Summer service were cut in the 2007-2008 budget, and the service's starting time was pushed back to 10pm. In March 2011, Thursday service was brought back and fare increased to $3.00 per ride.

Originally, Tipsy Taxi paid the now out of business Davis Cab Company $.50 per head.

This UCD program receives ASUCD subsidies.

Drivers & Vehicle Availability

Tipsy Taxi operates two types of vehicles, 15-passenger vans and 20-passenger cutaways (sometimes used in Unitrans service). The 20-passenger cutaways are wheelchair accessible; if you need this service, please let the dispatcher know when you phone in. Additionally, both types of vehicles have bike racks which can hold up to two bikes; this rack is first-come, first-serve.

Academic Year Service: On Thursday nights, there are two drivers. On Friday and Saturday nights, there are four. On Picnic Day, there can be up to six drivers. Occassionally, there may be fewer than four drivers (usually slow three-day weekends when many people in Davis go home), or there may be more drivers (usually the first weekend of the school year) to maximize the use of funding.

While Tipsy Taxi generally employs Unitrans drivers, route supervisors, and personnel, it is actually a separate ASUCD unit from Unitrans. Specialized Transportation Services (STS) has over seen the operation of Tipsy Taxi for many years and in Spring 2006, the ASUCD Senate voted to combine the two units. Although any UCD undergraduate student with a Commercial B-class license with passenger endorsement can apply to be a Tipsy Taxi driver, it most common for students to get that license through driving for Unitrans. If you do hold the appropriate license and wish to drive for Tipsy Taxi, contact the STS office.

Helpful Tips

  • The driver reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, to ask person(s) to leave the vehicle (for any reason), and to check reg cards.
  • Know where you are, where you want to go, and how many people there are in your party. You will be asked all of these when you call in.
  • Please be outside at your pick up time. If you are not outside within 5 minutes after of your given pickup time, the driver will leave. This is to keep the service running smoothly and attempting to service as many people as possible. The driver will not return; you will have to call in again.
  • When you are picked up, let the driver know where you are going. Drivers identify their pickups by their destinations.
  • Have your cash money, or prepaid ride tickets, ready. Tipsy Taxi drivers are not required to have money for change, and checks and credit cards are not acceptable forms of payment.
  • If you decide to change your destination, let the driver know right away. If you decide to change your destination en route or after the driver has reached your original destination, you will be left there, have to call Tipsy Taxi again and you will have to pay $2.00 again.
  • Do not bring (or attempt to bring) alcohol or illegal substances onto the van. This action is illegal and jeopardizes the driver's job and Tipsy Taxi. If you are caught, the driver will ask you to leave the vehicle.
  • Do not mob a Tipsy Taxi van, or attempt to board if the driver tells you no. Dispatchers will not hesitate to call the police when the driver's or other passengers' safety is threatened.
  • Do not take pictures while in the vehicle unless the driver gives you their permission. The flash can and will distract the driver from safe operation, and flash photography is illegal while on the freeway.
  • Stay seated. Do not stand up. It is also illegal to have standees on the freeway.
  • If you have to vomit, let the driver know. The driver can pull over and let you out to vomit. If you vomit while inside the vehicle, the driver will be forced to pull over at a safe location and unload, since drivers are not allowed to transport passengers with puke in their van. All passengers will be transferred to a new Tipsy Taxi van when a van becomes available. Also, depending on the circumstances, you may be refused further Tipsy Taxi service for that night if you are deemed too intoxicated to transport. In short: puke makes everyone sad. It is unpleasant for the dispatchers, as they are responsible for its cleanup, and annoying to passengers who are delayed in going home. It also takes time must be taken away from service.
  • Be nice to the driver. They are sacrificing their weekend night(s) of having fun to drive drunk people around. It is also nice to tip them.

Recent Legislation

Darnell Holloway recently (2006-5-11) introduced legislation to spend $2,400 to put cameras in three of the Tipsy Taxi shuttles for the protection of the drivers.

  • This legislation has been postponed. (Reported in the Aggie 5-30-06)

Davis Business License- Not on Davis business registry. (Cause it isn't DBA it is a university program, you silly goose) Sac Airport Permits- obviously not

How was your ride?

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2007-01-13 19:55:05   Back 3 to 4 years ago a bunch of youngins ~16yo took tipsy taxi from deep North D to South Davis safeway. It looks like they are more stringent with the rules now —StevenDaubert

* This may not be possible seeing that many of the vehicles used in tipsy taxi are in fact unitrans vehicles and may only be operated by unitrans employees. It is a very complicated issue that is due to the fact that STS and Unitrans are pretty much one and the same and STS isn't the most highly funded of services. In defense of the raise or cost per ride this has been done to attempt to limit the cost to the ASUCD and make it a self sustaining service. It is a very complicated issue that deals with charghing everybody through ASUCD fees or only charging the people who ride tipsy taxi.~nathanieljarrett

  • The vans are in fact STS paid for by ASUCD. If they were Unitrans, then Unitrans would be painted all over the vans. Whenever Unitrans uses a STS van, they have to pay STS for the mileage and gas used. There are seperate units but because it is easiest to get qualified drivers through Unitrans, the two work together. The info up on the page is highly accurate as I use to drive/supe Tipsy Taxi and also worked in the STS office. — JR

While it may not be possible Nathan, it did indeed occur, on more than one occasion. Probably not so much in this day in age. —StevenDaubert