A bill that proposed a partnership with a rideshare company was passed by the Undergraduate House of Representatives in the SGA, but was shot down by the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) this past Tuesday. The bill requested funds that would have launched a pilot program with a rideshare firm, which would have run for a few weeks. Riders would have be able to use the service for a flat fee within the Tech area during the day and would also have had a flat rate discount on three rides in the area during the pilot. GTPD was also to be involved — they would have gathered data on students’ trips through the partnership, which would in turn be used to more efficiently patrol campus.
The partnership, which had been in the works for more than a year, could have had significant benefits for the campus community. Students often forgo the Stingerette service because of long wait times and stricter rules associated with Tech’s own transportation services. The Stingerette also has the authority to kick students out of vans for whatever reason drivers deem appropriate. This is especially the case if students are intoxicated, which could additionally lead to them being reported to OSI by the driver. A rideshare service that shifts the burden off of the Stingerette and operates outside of Tech could prove mutually beneficial for both. It would give students an alternative to walking off-campus or waiting outdoors for long periods. With student discounts, more students would consider calling the service instead of doing either.
The rideshare partnership would have benefitted a wider portion of the campus community than any one club requesting event money from SGA. The bill’s defeat at the graduate level shows the misplaced priorities of a number of student legislators, who are more interested in playing politics than serving their community.