This past week, Uber expanded it’s taxi-like services to 22 college towns. If you’re unfamiliar with Uber, it’s a ridesharing service powered by smartphone apps: users use the app to find a driver, drivers use the app to find riders, and everything is done via card (which is great for those college students whose parents pay for everything).
I was initially very surprised by the list of the 22 college’s that will now get to experience UberX. Several of them are in small towns or campuses that I don’t think of as being difficult to get around. I even saw my own alma mater, Baylor University, on the list. The longer I thought about it, however, the more logical it seemed. Several of the listed schools are located in towns that have no transportation other than a personal vehicle- no busses outside of the school, no car services, and no options for a safe ride home after a long night out (aside from a DD).
At Baylor, there was (and probably still is) a campus-run service for those living in student housing, but that was a golf cart driven by a security officer and was only available for transportation to and from Baylor-owned properties. It was great when my student worker job ended at 1am and not so great when I was stranded at a bar on the other side of the highway or a house party with a DD that failed me.
Although Uber is advertising this expansion as transportation to football games (expect surge pricing), rides to class, late night food runs, and trips home from the library, I have a feeling a majority of it’s users will view it as a “safe ride” option (which is not a bad thing at all). Uber has even created twitter accounts and hashtags for each school added. Expect instas of drunk girls in black cars.
This has great potential. Just don’t get drunk and lose your smartphone.