Uber is a similar to a taxi service, except independent drivers pick up passengers in their own vehicles that they register online. We at The Rocket think this is an excellent service that will provide a much-needed service to people in our town.
Slippery Rock is by no means a large school, and we are not close enough to a city to justify having a cab service. Many students rely on the bus to take them where they need to go. This wouldn’t be an issue, but the bus does not run at key times that students need transportation.
The bus does not run after 4:30 on weekdays and students who aren’t in walking distance of campus and don’t have a car might have to skip events that they may want or need to go to. Uber will fill that void.
It is also an important option to give to students who go to the bar or parties at night, drink and consequently are unable to drive. The late-night bus, which only runs Friday and Saturday nights, is supposed to come around in 20-minute cycles.
But, if someone has ever utilized this service, then they know the bus has a tendency to be late, and if it is carrying too many passengers, the driver must leave some students who can’t fit on the bus behind. Students then either have to wait an undetermined amount of time until the next bus comes around, or if the bus isn’t running, then they would have to find another way to get home.
This is especially important to consider with the recent burst of crime, including two shootings, that have occurred within several miles of our campus. It isn’t fair to leave students to fend for themselves and walk home if they miss the bus, especially if doing so makes them afraid and uncomfortable.
Some members of our staff have felt unsafe walking home at night, and students even expressed this concern in our prior issue’s “In the Quad” segment. With the lighting and sidewalk issue still unresolved, it’s important to provide a quick fix, which is what Uber offers.
Uber also will provide students with another option if the person who is the designated driver for the night ends up drinking.
Some of our staff have voiced concern with the cost of Uber’s services. But if someone takes an Uber with three of their friends, then the cost will be divided and it will be more affordable for passengers.
There are also situations where someone would call an Uber if they felt unsafe or unable to walk or drive home. Someone could also potentially use Uber to get a ride to the health center.
In these types of situations, the value of the service outweighs the cost of the ride, and the cost wouldn’t be that steep unless the passenger asks the Uber driver to take them somewhere out of town.
This is also an excellent opportunity for students who don’t go out during the weekends to make some extra money. Registering with Uber is easy, and drivers can become registered within one week of applying, so becoming an Uber driver would be an easy way for someone to quickly start making money. Drivers also have the opportunity to earn tips if passengers think the service is good.
Drivers are also able to set their own schedules, so students will not be bogged down with responsibility.
Uber coming to SRU fills a necessity, and provides students with an opportunity to make extra money, and we at The Rocket feel that this is a great service.