Assumption to subsidize students' Uber rides

BY Zachary Comeau

File Photo
File Photo

Getting around Worcester just got easier for Assumption College students.
The Worcester college has begun a partnership with Uber for Business with the college paying the full cost of a round-trip Uber ride for students attending classes at neighboring colleges in the city.
Assumption will also pay $4 toward students taking an Uber to select locations in the city, like Lincoln Plaza, Showcase Cinemas North, Union Station and Shrewsbury Street.
If students are stuck off campus with no ride, an Uber will pick them up and the college will pay another $4 toward that ride. That service will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Outbound services to select locations will only be available between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. every day.
Before the college offered to help subsidize Uber rides, the only affordable transportation for Assumption College students was the City Ride program, which provides free transportation to the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury, but those services are only available on weekends.
The Uber service was announced less than a month after the Worcester Student Government Association - a consortium of student leaders from the city’s colleges and universities - released the results of a survey  indicating college students without cars are having a hard time getting around the city.
Per the survey, 86 percent said they had never used the city’s public transportation to get around, and less than 2 percent said they’ve used a Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus more than six times a month.
In the survey, 43 percent said it was easy to get downtown, compared to 31 percent who said the opposite.
The survey found 45 percent of respondents don’t attend off-campus events, and 70 percent said they stay on campus most of the time.
If they don’t have their car on campus, the preferred method of transportation is an Uber, the survey found.
Ian Burns, a senior at Assumption, said in a statement the new partnership will be successful given Uber’s popularity among students.
“The ease of using Uber is making the city more accessible than ever to Assumption students, and we are excited to see how the program will develop in the future,” Burns said.
In a statement, Vice President for Student Affairs at Assumption Catherine WoodBrooks said the school is committed to providing transportation for students.