Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, students in the College will have the option of choosing an alternative to the U-PASS: the U-BER. This new program will cover all Uber expenses for students on rides that are valued below $5 and above $25. The initiative was proposed by a Student Government member who remarked in a meeting, "Where even is the Red Line, anyway?"
The campus is divided over the expected efficacy of the program, but those who support it are very enthusiastic. "I think it's great because car pooling with Uber Pool is great for the environment, and I really care about the environment," Sheila Newton, a second year in the College, told the Dealer. "I just wish the whole city could have access to a program like this. The government could even subsidize it with our tax money! Isn't that a neat idea?" she said, waiting for an Uber at the 55 stop under the Green Line tracks.
Kevin Wolcott, another University of Chicago student, said, "I've tried so hard to get used to the CTA but I just can't wrap my head around it. How do you even get on the bus? I mean, I obviously know how to get on the bus. But how do you stay on the bus? It's really hard to latch on to the side for more than thirty seconds. Unless you're on the bike rack. That's the jackpot right there."
When the Dealer asked the same student what they thought of the people who rode within the bus, he said, "The inside is just for the bus people, silly. That's where they live, God bless 'em."
One concerned parent expressed great relief at the addition of the U-BER to the Dealer. "Now I can fall asleep at night knowing that my child can get around town without worrying for their safety. The biggest public health problem in our country is the fact that public transport doesn't provide seat belts. Ever! And until that is fixed, ride sharing in a compact car with complete strangers is the only alternative for my little munchkin."
The only significant push back to this plan has come from the Scooter Lobby, an RSO on campus that believes Razor Scooters are a superior form of transportation. "U-BER and U-PASS are both a disgusting waste of our tuition money," a Scooter Lobby spokesperson told the Dealer. "Our official stance is that the school should instead buy a razor scooter for every student. Scoot, scoot."
The Scooter Lobby and other students will have to chance to voice their concerns in SG surveys over the course of the next year. They will move to continue the U-BER beyond that time if 40% of ED students from LA are satisfied with the program by the year's end.