The Wichitan

Uber provides safe option and ride home

latoya fondren

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College is filled with parties, campus events and bar nights. When students are done with classes for the week, they’re ready to celebrate at a couple of bars or parties during the weekend. The issue is not enough students utilize Uber as a form of transportation to get around.

Caylan Deutsch, education junior, said, “Using Uber is the safest option for students that decide to go out and drink.”

According to Deutsch not enough students know about Uber and once they are more aware of it they will utilize it more.

Uber is a ride-booking service that connects drivers to passengers through a mobile app. It services 300 cities across six continents and expanded to Wichita Falls on Aug. 28. Uber’s commitment is to keep people safe on the road by providing reliable, inexpensive transport solutions.

Uber works by riders connecting their smartphone app to real-time drivers. Students can enter their pickup location to receive an estimated fare price and then proceed to enter their drop-off location in the app and tap “request.” Students can also connect their campus card to their Uber account as a form of payment.

Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, said his goal is to transform this town into a modern city that students want to live in. Florsheim believes that marketing is one solution to make more students aware of its ride-share services.

“Uber can do more outreach on campus, whether it’s strictly by email communications, social media or actually having a presence on campus like student fairs, advertising and passing out fliers,” Florsheim said.

Students can arrive to games with up to five of their friends. Uber can be utilized as a “post-party” ride for students that enjoy late night partying, and students can make it to class on time for those that live off campus and don’t own a vehicle.

“Uber is inexpensive and easy to access immediately,” Florsheim said. “It works by using the app which is how student like to function today.”

Uber is useful for emergencies and last minute events.

Gyaneshwar Malba, computer science senior, said, “I would use Uber if I had no time and needed to get somewhere important.”

Although not all students believe in Uber.

Malba only rides the shuttle buses regularly because it’s free for students versus having to pay for his ride with Uber.

“There are seven running shuttle buses to choose from that take students to every shopping place in town and I don’t have to use Uber and wait for just one driver,” Malba said.

Students are able to view the driver’s contact information and vehicle details, and once the rider has reached their destination, they can rate their driver.

Florsheim said,”The benefits of using a ride-share service like Uber is its safety aspect.”

Uber is available for students all day and night.

Billie Mcmanus, full-time Uber driver, believes that Uber is economical compared to other forms of transportation and it’s a safe way for students to travel.

To make students feel even safer, Uber created a family profile that means up to 10 riders can share a payment account.

“Uber is very safe for students to use especially because Uber requires drivers to go though extensive background checks to be able to drive,” Mcmanus said.

However, Mcmanus said he hasn’t gotten much traffic from students this week.

“I only received requests from six students over the past week,” Mcmanus said. “I typically pick students up from their apartments and drive them to campus.”

According to Mcmanus when he picks up a group of students, they usually split the fare.

“I make more money as a driver on Friday and Saturday nights, which are the best days to make money,” Mcmanus said.

Mcmanus said students aren’t using Uber because they may not have the funds to request a ride.

“Students should give Uber a try if they haven’t already,” Mcmanus said. ” They would find it very beneficial especially during those times when they really need it.”

Joshua Carter, accounting junior, said, “Most students are on a budget and would rather save their money.”

Carter said there aren’t many places for students to go in town. His solution is for Uber to work closely with the nearby bars to promote its ride-share service and encourage students to request a driver after a night of drinking. He also thinks that Uber should attend the job fairs to persuade students to drive for Uber.

“A lot of students would utilize Uber more during big school events,” Carter said. “I have friends who want to work for Uber and I think students would feel more comfortable if more drivers were students.”

Florsheim said he believes Uber is a service that generally a lot of people look for in a community.

“I want students to know this type of service exist and that it can make their lives easier,” Florsheim said.

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The Student News Site of Midwestern State University
Uber provides safe option and ride home