Uber is Partnering with USC. Is Your Campus Next?
Earlier this year, Uber created a pilot partnership with the University of Southern California. The university’s free internal ride-sharing service, Campus Cruiser, was in need of a supplement to reduce wait times during peak periods.
Similar to Uber, Campus Cruiser seeks to provide a safe and reliable traveling option for students between the times of 6pm to 3am. Although Campus Cruiser currently has 200 drivers and a fleet 40 vehicles ranging from electric cars to 6-passgenger minivans, it simply isn’t enough to meet the demand of USC’s studious, party-going students. Campus Cruiser currently picks up and drops off within a 2-mile radius of the main campus and on average, handles about 1200 calls per night. With over 20,000 students, it’s easy to understand why the current Campus Cruiser program may be overwhelmed.
The USC Uber program is available Thursday through Saturday nights from 8 p.m. until midnight, the busiest hours for Campus Cruiser. The service can only be used when wait times for Campus Cruiser exceed 15 minutes, and Campus Cruiser dispatchers will direct students to the free service when necessary. During these peak hours, Campus Cruiser will continue to handle calls as usual.
“USC already offers a range of transportation choices for students to get around the university area, including regular shuttles, ZipCars and Campus Cruiser,” Director of Transportation Tony Mazza said in a statement. “Some students already use Uber, as well, to supplement their transportation options. The four-month service trial with Uber is expected to decrease student wait times during periods of highest demand, using a familiar option that is easily accessible.”
All trips that begin and end within Campus Cruiser’s boundaries will be completely free for students and billed to USC, but only if students are sure to click the “USC button” in the lower right section of the Uber app. Otherwise, the trip will be charged to the student’s account.
The USC button is only available during the USC-Uber program’s hours of operation, Thursday- Saturday nights, 8 p.m. until midnight.
If your college or university has a program similar to USC’s Campus Cruiser, then it may very well be next. Reach out to your school’s department of transportation to find out how to get Uber on your campus today.