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Is UISG's 24-hour cab service a good investment?

BY DI EDITORIAL STAFF | NOVEMBER 04, 2011 7:20 AM

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No

Yes. Finally. I've been waiting for this forever. I love not taking personal responsibility.

I'm going to get drunk every weekend and instead of calling a cab myself, like I normally do, I'm going to let the University of Iowa foot the bill.

Because it's not the UISG. No, it's the university, which gives UISG its budget. And it's not like $114,700 could be put to better use. Because it's not like Iowa City has private cab services that drunkards can use 24 hours a day. Marco's. Put it on my tab. I'll let my parents pay for the extra tuition.

I'm excited for when UISG starts footing the bill for my beer. Once I am able to use my U-Bill at local businesses around here, I won't have to take any personal responsibility until I'm out of college and am in huge amounts of debt.

Now, I can spend all the extra money I was saving for the cab ride home on more alcohol. I don't even have to think ahead or manage my time or anything else that college is supposed to teach me.

It's about safety, too. Because money is no cost when it comes to safety. But what about the cab drivers? Are they technically university employees then? So the UI is liable for everything the cab drivers do? Are they safe? Have they been vetted like drivers of Nite Ride have been?

And 24 hours a day is great, because then I can just have them take me from class to class. Because it's free, and I have always wanted to have a chauffeur. I don't really feel like walking home today, it's cold, so I'll just call a university-sponsored cab.

I just really hope I won't have to wait too long for a cab in some desolate and dark parking lot instead of at a designated university bus stop where other kids will be. It will probably be a really popular service, but I'm sure I won't have to wait 30 minutes, drunk and high, in the cold, at 4 in the morning. I was going to stay over at my friend's, but now that I can get home alone, by myself, it'll be great.

You picking up on my sarcasm here? I'd hope so, because I'm laying it on pretty thick.

ā€” Benjamin Evans

Yes

Providing a 24-hour, uni-sex taxi service for University of Iowa students would be an invaluable step in working to promote greater campuswide safety.

While Nite Ride has provided an excellent safety net for female students at the UI for years, the same offering of security has not been afforded to males. Instead, young men are encouraged to walk home in the late hours of the night in a college town where the unimaginable is always only moments away.

Although statistics will show males are much less often the victims of sexual assault, lest we not forget, they are no less vulnerable to the crime than women, much less to the after-hour cases of "simple" assault that are much more common. Suffice to say, the end result of providing the same security to men carries the potential to prevent many otherwise uninvited violent altercations.

Critics will argue that any such program will invite hundreds, if not thousands, of students to abuse these services for the sake of saving money on a cab during the wee hours of late-night partying. Still, while these abuses are certain to occur, the value a secure taxi service would provide for the students and faculty who utilize it are nearly immeasurable.

No one can definitively know how many women have benefited from Nite Ride who would have otherwise been thrust into dangerous or life-threatening situations. Much the same, no one can definitively know how many crimes would be prevented by offering men the same service. In either situation, even one successful case of "protection" would negate the abuses of many.

From an institutional perspective, the idea stands as a no-brainer as well. An extension of security promoting initiatives may very well help tip the balance when prospective students decide which school they wish to attend. For those who disagree: Ask any parent.

So aside from the potential abuse of this service, there's little for one find fault with. On the other hand, the potential benefits such a service would provide are incalculable.

ā€” Matt Heinze


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