Assumption starting new partnership with Uber
This semester, Assumption will be trialing a partnership with Uber to offer students discounted rides to and from campus around the city of Worcester. The idea started with the thought of running a safe ride program through Uber similar to what the college currently does with Yellow Cab, and has since evolved into three separate trial programs to see what students would use. This exciting new initiative from the Student Government Association (SGA) would make Assumption one of the only colleges in New England to be utilizing Uber in such a way.
The first program, which has already begun, allows Assumption students who are taking classes in the Worcester Consortium to receive free rides to and from their classes at other campuses. Last year, students could receive discounted bus passes and ride the WRTA to their classes, but the WRTA discontinued their service to Assumption due to a lack of ridership. This created a problem where students who did not have cars but wanted to take classes at other campuses were unable to find transportation. When SGA began looking into Uber as a replacement for safe ride, it immediately became apparent that this would also be the perfect fix to solve the consortium issue.
The other two programs that the College wants to pilot are a safe ride-type program and a transportation off campus program. For the safe ride program, the college will pay for four dollars of a student’s Uber ride that starts anywhere in the city of Worcester and ends on Assumption’s campus. This discount will be available 24/7. In the second program, Assumption will pay for four dollars of a student’s Uber ride that starts at Assumption and ends at Union Station, Lincoln Plaza, Showcase Cinemas Worcester North, or Shrewsbury Street. This discount would be available seven days a week from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
These two trials are slated to begin February 1, which means starting Thursday every undergraduate student will be able to have discounted Uber rides to and from campus. Each student will receive an email from Assumption and Uber with instructions on how to set up their account. Students will need to have the Uber app downloaded and will need to have their own personal Uber account activated in order to take advantage of the Assumption discount. When ordering a ride, the app will prompt students to say if they are taking a ride with an Assumption program or through their own account. Provided that the student is booking a ride within the parameters of the program, students will be able to easily request a ride.
Although this is just a trial, students and administration are already foreseeing enormous potential with the program. If these initial three programs are a success, the Assumption-Uber partnership could go into full effect in the next academic year, with the potential to add on new programs. Provided money and resources are available, there is potential to use the Uber programs for internships, Community Service Learning classes and more.
As the trial progresses, any and all feedback or questions on the programs can be directed to a member of SGA or can be emailed to email@example.com. Keep a look out in your Houndmail and on the portal for more information in the coming days.
Ian Burns, a senior, studies biology. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.