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IUSA Hopes To Pilot Free Student Uber Rides Next Semester

IUSA is hoping to pilot a program this Spring giving students free Uber rides home when Safety Escort is not in service.

The Indiana University Student Association is hoping to finalize a partnership with the ride sharing service Uber to provide free rides to students.

The service would be an extension of the IU Safety Escort, which provides free rides home for students nightly from 8 p.m. to 1:45 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters, and to 11:45 p.m. during the summer semester.

"We saw that there was a time period between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. where students needed some type of transportation to get home and didn't have one, and so that's sort of where we began our research," says Samuel Gentry, IUSA chief of special partnerships and programs. "We looked into Uber and found a USC program that worked great for them, where Uber essentially supplements their campus safety escort, much like we have here."

The program, which IUSA is hoping to pilot in spring 2016, will allow students up to three complimentary rides from Uber each semester.

IUSA will give students a promo code, directing them to an Indiana University-affiliated page of the Uber app where they can redeem the code for a free ride.

Although not yet completed, Gentry is hopeful the pilot program will begin in the spring.

"Right now we're working with administrators who came to us with legitimate safety concerns, liability concerns," Gentry says. "We're in contact with Uber just to make sure that students are going to be safe."

The IUSA budget will partially fund the program, but Gentry says additional funding sources are still being sought.

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