While Mercyhurst has a lot to offer students on campus, a change of scenery is needed at times– not to mention trips, errands, and getting out and about. The free student bus pass is a nice perk for students, but bus schedules can cause headaches and turmoil. If you find yourself taking an Uber, Mercyhurst has a nice new incentive to help you save money with each trip.
On Feb. 14, Mercyhurst Student Government announced a rideshare partnership with Uber. This will allow students to have a safer option of returning to Mercyhurst when they go off campus. The announcement was a launch that started in the Mary Garden and showed Luke riding around campus in an Uber. After hearing a friend at Ohio State talk about how she could get back to her place easily while going around town near campus, MSG President, Nick Brodfuehrer, wanted to start a similar program here at Mercyhurst. “Obviously, we are not that large to have our own app created by Uber or Lyft, but we had some options. As I began looking at programs available, we reached out to both Uber and Lyft to see what they could do. Uber was extremely receptive and met with us multiple times to make the pro-gram a success,” said Brodfuehrer.
He worked along with MSG Treasurer, Megan Krull, as Student Government worked to determine the feasibility of this idea. “Once we realized capabilities, we focused on safety and what Uber required of their drivers, as well as how this could work as a Late Night option,” said Brodfuehrer. This was Brodfuehrer’s original intent for the program, after concerns were brought to MSG Senate regarding students getting back to campus at night time. The way the program works is that students will be able to join the MSG Business Account on the Uber App, register using their Mercyhurst credentials to create an account, and redeem the offer. MSG will then approve your account and they will cover $5 per day, per person. One thought is that you should still travel with at least one friend, so if you use your $5 on the way to your destination, your friend can use theirs on your way back.
“We wanted to expand it to all students. If someone wanted to get to Peach, we wanted to give them the ability to do that. Freshmen don’t have cars, so this would also alleviate stress of feeling ‘stuck on campus.’ All students are going to have the ability to take advantage of this program once per day,” said Brodfuehrer. This program has been in the works since last semester but really started coming together in early December. Talking about his hope for this program, Brodfuehrer said, “I hope students will find it easy to use. Myself and my Treasurer have spent a ton of time working on developing this program, so I hope they will Uber comfortably, safely whenever they want. I hope it helps them save a little bit of money as well.”
“MUber is an incentive program for all students to have a safe and reliable ride around Erie. In this fashion, we encourage students to take advantage of this program to attend events and activities within the Erie community,” said Brodfuehrer.
An e-mail from Laura Zirkle, vice president for Student Life, was sent out to Mercyhurst stu-dents on Monday with some additional information about the program. According to the e-mail, “we encourage students to take advantage of this program to at-tend events and activities within the Erie area.” The e-mail additionally adds that “this program will encourage students to travel responsibly and comfortably, anytime, anywhere.” Make sure to check your e-mail so you can access the QR code in order to sign up and use the service. The sign-up process is fairly quick and easy: simply scan the QR code, sign a disclaimer, then register using your school e-mail, which will allow you to connect your personal Uber account to the MSG business account. It only takes a few minutes and it is worth the money you will save!
Though going out is undoubtedly a great way to relieve some of the stressors and getting a break from school, safety is imperative and MSG recognizes this and offers a great solution.This program is a way to offer students the option to get off campus, while also encouraging student safety and well-being. Coordinating and navigating complex transportation plans can deter students from getting to the places they need or want to go, and this program is a way to eliminate those stressors and allow students to get off campus. This incentive is a wonderful way to get out and explore some of the greatness that Erie has to offer! Whether you choose to spend time enjoying Presque Isle, Peach Street, or a night away downtown, make sure to take ad-vantage of this awesome incentive that Mercyhurst Student Government is offering for students. Stay safe and ride in style in a MUber next time you leave campus!