The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th

Safe Ride UNC’s status unclear

Staff Writers

Student Body President Mary Cooper has had early success in fulfilling her campaign platform, but the status of one large project is still unclear.

Cooper’s Safe Ride Program, which would offer a flat-rate taxi service for students and Chapel Hill residents, was scheduled to be up and running in October.

But Cooper said she is unsure of whether the project will meet that date because of some alterations to the original plan.

“This is arguably one of the more challenging points of my platform,” Cooper said.

She said her administration is currently finalizing a draft of the UNC Safe Ride proposal, which will be presented to Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt.

Cooper said she wants to use Kleinschmidt’s influence to increase participation and cooperation among local taxi companies.

The UNC Safe Ride program was modeled after the Panhellenic Council’s flat-rate taxi program. The Cooper administration has altered that plan in hopes of making it accessible to all students.

The altered plan would divide the town into zones so that students are guaranteed to pay the same flat rate each ride.

Cooper said she wants to work with Kleinschmidt to bring taxi companies together for discussion. She said her plan will increase revenue for the companies and improve overall safety.

The proposal has received positive feedback from students as well as Chapel Hill Taxi, a taxi service.

Mandy McCullough, owner of Chapel Hill Taxi, already works with the Panhellenic Council’s flat-rate taxi program, she said.

The company charges sorority members $7 for a single person, or $2 to $3 for multiple passengers, McCullough said.

She said rates for UNC’s Safe Ride program would be even lower.

“It would be really good if we had it for the whole entire school,” McCullough said.

Student reactions to the proposal vary.

“I live off campus, so taking a taxi would be really convenient,” said Lauren Seborowski, a junior psychology major from Charlotte.

Seborowski said she would be willing to pay as much as $15 for the service.

Some students are concerned with the cost of Safe Ride versus the free P2P bus.

“I wouldn’t want to walk home alone, but it depends on the price,” said junior Juliana Poletti.

Though the details are not final, Cooper said the main goal of the program is student safety.

“I want it to be accessible, reliable, and provide extra safety for students,” she said.

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