After months without Uber Safe Rides, UF students can finally access the discount.
UF extended its contract with Uber, reactivating the program on Wednesday night, Scott Fox, UF transportation and parking services senior director, wrote in an email. His department realized the codes, which offer a 25 percent discount, were not working on Oct. 11.
The promotion was inactive for the majority of the semester, Fox said.
UF and Uber’s contract started in Spring 2015 with a 50 percent discount. Uber decides how often the codes are recreated, Fox wrote. Uber Safe Rides lowered its discount from 50 to 25 percent on Oct. 24, 2018 because of financial restrictions, according to the TAP announcement.
The UF Student Traffic Court contributed an additional $92,000 to continuing the service through the Fall semester, according to the TAP announcement.
“We will be taking steps to assure there are no gaps moving forward,” he said.
With Uber Safe Rides, UF students currently have a 25 percent discount in a designated zone Wednesday to Sunday each week. The zone includes UF’s campus, Midtown, the outskirts of campus by Archer road and areas close to downtown.
“We enthusiastically support any safe ride options available to our students,” Fox said.
During times with high rider demand, Uber increases its fares based on the rider’s location, according to Uber’s website explaining price surging.
While the code was inactive, students like Kasia Weich, a 22-year-old UF physics senior, paid regular Uber prices even with price surging at night and on football game days.
She and her sister took an Uber ride home from the football game that was more expensive than they anticipated, but they had no other choice, Weich said.
She asked on the UF Class of 2020 Facebook page if Uber Safe Rides was still operating on Oct. 5, and other students asked similar questions.
“I think it’s really relevant to students,” she said. “A lot of us Uber pretty frequently and college students are pretty broke so Uber Safe Rides is really nice and helpful.”
Although the discount is back and ready for use, Weich said she would like to see the discounted zone expanded.
“I think they should expand it to anywhere students commonly live,” she said. “I lived at The Pavilion last year, which is out of the zone, and that was really frustrating.”
FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 file photo, the logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Ride-hailing service is acquiring Cornershop as it tries to gain a foothold in the Latin American grocery delivery business. San Francisco-based Uber, whose $5.24 billion loss last quarter was its largest ever, has been expanding its offerings to include food delivery and other forms of transportation, such as scooters and bikes. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)