Cats Cab starts the school year off strong



By Amelia Orwick | Managing Editor

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Since a new safe-ride program was implemented at the beginning of the school year, UK Student Government has expressed excitement at the increased ridership it has witnessed weekend after weekend.

The Cats Cab program, launched by Student Government in partnership with Bluegrass Cab, will transport students to any residential address inside New Circle Road free of charge Thursday-Saturday, from 10 p.m.-3 a.m.

Students traveling outside of New Circle Road are offered reduced rates.

SG spokesman Clayton Bailey said the vast majority of Cats Cab riders are staying within the New Circle Road limits.

Cats Cab replaced the Cats Cruiser, which was run in conjunction with Lextran along four fixed routes.

Cats Cab allows more flexibility for riders, as the taxi service will pick them up from a specific location.

“Generally, we’re very happy with how things are going,” Bailey said. “Ridership is increasing every weekend … The message is getting out there.”

SG was not able to provide specific numbers related to ridership or how cost-effective the program has proven thus far.

“With a new program, there are always going to be a few hiccups,” Bailey said. “One of them happens to be data collection.”

SG has been successful, however, in launching a Cats Cab smartphone application for the Android and iPhone.

The application can communicate a student’s location to a driver, update cab wait times and send a text message when a driver has arrived.

Bailey said Cats Cab has been doing a good job of getting students home safely, and students have reciprocated with good behavior.

“Nothing out of line (has happened), or anything that wouldn’t happen with a normal taxi cab … Most students have been appreciative of the service and happy to get a free ride,” he said.

Anthropology junior Kaylee Holt, who used the service over the weekend, was pleased with her overall experience.

“I thought the Cats Cab was really efficient,” Holt said. “They came to pick us up 10 minutes or less after we called.”

Some have questioned whether they should tip the driver after receiving a ride, but Bailey said providing gratuity is the students’ prerogative.

Although no numbers comparing Cats Cruiser and Cats Cab have been released, Bailey said he has not heard anything negative about the switch.

“They are somewhat different programs …, ” he said. “But we’re happy with the decision.”