The Daily Gamecock

SG's Carolina Cab service from Five Points sees successful first weekend

More than 100 students hitch free rides Thursday night

Student Government’s new Carolina Cab gave 32 free rides home from Five Points to over 100 students on its inaugural run Thursday night.

There were 150 riders Friday night, said SG Vice President Katie Thompson. To use Carolina Cab, students just have to call Checker Yellow Cab’s number, (803) 799-3311, and show their Carolina Cards to the driver to get a free ride from the Five Points fountain to anywhere within a five-mile radius, which includes Copper Beech and most other popular off-campus complexes.

The service runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is funded through the student activity fee, and SG expects it to save the university $1,000 by replacing Cocky’s Caravan.

“Students already take taxis, so this is a way for us to pay for a system that students are already using,” said Taylor Cain, former SG vice president who campaigned on the program. “That makes their lives easier, which at the end of the day is what the student activity is supposed to do.”

Numbers on Saturday’s run weren’t available late Sunday, and Cain said she was unsure what the effect the rain had on Saturday’s ridership.

“In my opinion, the first night was more successful than any other night we had in the spring semester with Cocky’s Caravan,” Cain said of the much-maligned shuttle service SG launched her freshman year.

Cocky’s Caravan, which suffered from low ridership while costing SG thousands, ended the week before Spring Break.

SG considered this past weekend a soft opening, and SG members and Checker Yellow representatives will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony this Thursday at 11 a.m. on Greene Street.

“I am ecstatic and overjoyed at the response we’ve gotten so far,” Cain said. “I’m ecstatic and overjoyed we’ve hit the nail on the head this time.”

Within 24 hours of Carolina Cab’s social media groups going online, Cain said that more than 700 people had liked its Facebook group and 300 people were following its Twitter.

“The whole process was really easy. We walked right up to the fountain and someone was right there assigning cabs to everyone,” said Megan Prettyman, a third-year anthropology student. “We only had to wait a minute or two to get our cab, which was awesome. We were able to make a couple stops and our fare went to $11.40, which was completely covered.”

Several students, however, said they had wait times much longer than one or two minutes.

“It took them a while because there was only two of them running,” said Joanna Harrison, a third-year sociology student. “It took 20 minutes, but it was free.”

Cain said SG talked to Checker Yellow Friday morning and that the company had added more cabs that night.

Carolina Cab will not run over the summer, and SG will use the time to review the effectiveness of the service and possibly make changes.


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