The Daily Gamecock

Free taxi rides on way next month

Contract with Checker Yellow Cab would give students rides back to dorms from Five Points

The trial run for Student Government’s Five Points taxi service is planned to begin March 24, Student Body Vice President Taylor Cain said.

The Carolina Cab program, the result of a contract between USC and the Checker Yellow Cab taxi service, already has a logo and only awaits final approval from both parties before going into effect. If approved, the service will offer students free rides from the Five Points Fountain and the Hootie and the Blowfish monument to anywhere within a five-mile radius of campus Thursday thought Saturday night. The five-mile radius contains most of the popular off-campus housing complexes, such as The Woodlands and Copper Beech.

Kenny Tracy, SG’s secretary for safety and transportation, said students would be able to either flag down a Checker Yellow Cab taxi or call the company’s number to request a ride.  As long as students show their CarolinaCard, they ride for free. Tracy said he expected no shortage of cabs, citing that the company has a fleet of more than 100.

The Carolina Cab program will be paid for by the student activity fee and will replace the beleaguered Cocky’s Caravan, the current night shuttle service that suffers from low ridership while costing SG thousands. Cocky’s Caravan also only runs Friday and Saturday nights, leaving the Thirsty Thursday crowd thirsting for a ride.

Tracy said Carolina Cab will cost USC $250 per night for three nights a week, as compared to Cocky’s Caravan, which costs $725 per night for the two nights it runs. The new service will save thousands by the end of this semester, Cain said.

Carolina Cab will run for five weekends starting March 24 and continue until the start of exam week. Cain said SG didn’t want to inaugurate the service during the hectic St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

After the trial run is up, USC will review the service to decide if they will change or alter it.

While Carolina Cab is currently only planned to serve Five Points, Cain said that if the service is “highly successful” SG will try to expand it to The Vista and other off-campus housing complexes.


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