ASUI Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would pay for a trial run of a free weekend taxi service for students.
The bill allocates $720 from the senate budget to pay for two taxis to run from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. the Friday and Saturday after the first week of classes next semester. The taxi service will be available to UI students who show their Vandal Card.
“I think this program has the potential to decrease risk for students and create safer situations,” said ASUI Sen. Keely Snow.
ASUI Sen. Aran Burke, who wrote the bill, said the program fits well into the infrastructure and safety platform he ran on when he was elected.
“When I first brought it up, people thought it was a little too expensive,” Burke said. “So I thought we could just pay for a test run and they were very receptive to at least trying.”
He said they chose the weekend following syllabus week because it is a common heavy drinking time. He said he first came in contact with a service like this when he visited a friend at another university.
“It was cold outside, she had drank and was alone, but had this service available to her,” Burke said.
But he said the program would not exclusively prevent drunk driving.
“If any student needs to get away from any unsafe situation, they can,” Burke said.
If ASUI extended the program to run every weekend, Burke said it would cost $2 per student from student fees. He said they could potentially get sponsorship from the Dean of Students Office or the city of Moscow to relieve costs. He said cities fund similar programs around the country.
When he first started looking into the program, Burke said he talked to members of a security company. He said they told him people had brought this idea up in Moscow before but it was never created.
Burke said he chose College Cabs for the test-run of the program because they were the first to respond and were eager to work with him. He said if they decide to continue the program, they would be open to working with any cab company, though they would not necessarily need two cabs.
Nishant Mohan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NishantRMohan