Safety First: ITD partners with Lyft
at Treefort Music Fest

Since starting in Boise in 2012, Treefort Music Fest has become a spring tradition in southwest Idaho. For nearly a week, musicians, artists, restaurants and breweries set up “forts” throughout downtown to create a festive atmosphere at the beginning of spring.

Amid all the hustle and bustle this year, an unusual fort popped up near the heart of all the action – the ITD Fort.

“Treefort is such a fun, family friendly event,” said ITD Office of Highway Safety (OHS) Grants Officer Lisa Losness. “There’s something for everyone, so we thought this would be a great way to talk to people about  getting home safely.” 

One of the most popular parts of the festival is Alefort, which highlights local craft beer brewers. It’s that festive environment that got Losness, who manages the impaired-driving program, and the rest of OHS team thinking of how they can make a difference.

“Many times when we talk about traffic safety, we tell people ‘don’t do this,’ or ‘don’t do that,’” Losness said. “Over the last couple years as we’ve rolled out our Shift program, we’ve changed the way we talk about safe driving but the primary focus has been on engaged driving – we thought Treefort would be a great opportunity to start a fresh conversation about sober driving and having the courage to stop impaired driving with designated drivers.”

To start that conversation, OHS chose to partner with Treefort and ride-sharing service Lyft to make sure concertgoers had access to a sober ride home. They got booth space right across the parking lot from Alefort and a $5 discount code for Lyft during the festival – they gave out 80 of the discount passes, and the number would surely have been greater but a misunderstanding with the timeframe cut the passes off at midnight Saturday, before the bars closed.

“We had to stay late to make sure we were talking to the right people but the thank yous and positive feedback was wonderful,” Losness said. “Most importantly, we were able to help people make the smart choice to get a sober ride.”

Published 03-29-19