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Will SLO students be able to ride with Uber?

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Cal Poly students prefer using Uber or Lyft over taking the bus.


By Camille Silvera
Special Contributor
Journalism 201A

Not every student in San Luis Obispo has their car in town and not everyone prefers to take the bus either; this is when Uber and Lyft come into the picture.

Uber and Lyft are two of the top transporting companies these days that offer transportation services via smart phone. By linking a credit card to the app a driver can be easily requested to drive you to your local destination without stops along the way.

Cal Poly students have the ability to load money onto their ID cards, PolyCards, and are interested in the idea of using the money on their for Uber.

“Cuesta ID cards cannot currently hold money, so this would not be able to be implemented anytime soon at Cuesta,” Cuesta’s Director of Transportation Anthony Gutierrez said.

This agreement hasn’t been talked about among Cal Poly officials or it’s student government and has not gone through any steps to be implemented yet.

Cal Poly students are interested in the idea seeing as they can load money onto their card for other things like books or food.

Cal Poly students have free access to ride the city bus as these costs are built into their tuition costs. However, the bus can be a burden in requiring students to suffer through long travel times to travel relatively short distances across town.

“I’d rather pay for an Uber than take the bus around town” said Kelsey Wood, first year Sociology student at Cal Poly living on campus, “The bus just takes too long sometimes with all the stops it makes. If you are in a hurry or need to get somewhere in a certain amount of time, you can’t rely on the bus for that.”

Wood also explained that she already spends her money on Uber and that it would have been much less of a stress if she could just use her PolyCard to pay for it.

Many students who live on campus take advantage of Uber or Lyft already because it is an easy and safe way to get around town. Students are able to have money on their PolyCards that give them availability to any of the food locations on campus.

Students also feel Uber or Lyft are safer and more efficient than any other transportation service when they are in need for a designated driver.

“I live in the Poly Canyon Village apartments on campus and I don’t have my car here with me. I Uber all the time because it is fastest and most convenient in my opinion,” Clara Jones, a third year industrial engineering student at Cal Poly, explained, “If I wanted to go downtown I can Uber there in a shorter amount of time than taking the bus.”

Cal Poly has a market on campus that has food, cleaning products, and the basic necessities students need for their on-campus dorms and apartments, but it doesn’t always fit the needs of students. This is when students prefer to go off campus to go to the stores that have more options such as Target or Food for Less. However, they cannot get to it unless they make transportation arrangements.

This year, Cal Poly freshmen were not allowed to bring cars on campus because the school admitted an extra 500 students.They believe it would be convenient to use their PolyCards to transport themselves around town, get to their locations more efficiently and become more familiar with SLO.

Uber states on their website that they have already partnered with 28 schools in the country to ride with your student card, two of them being California schools. Uber gives students the option to go on their website to join a waitlist to increase demand for this service at your school.

Camille Silvera produced this multimedia piece while being a student in JOUR 201A – Beginning Reporting and Writing.
This and other courses in the Journalism & Digital Communication Department offers students the opportunity to get their work published.