Uber, SAASA collab for additional $150,000 in free rides for students

Just more than a month after the original $200,000 collaboration, Uber and Student Activists Against Sexual Assault will offer additional funding to students.

After an initial $200,000 grant, Uber is teaming up with SAASA and It's on Us to provide another $150,000 in free rides. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Uber is giving Temple an additional $150,000 in free rides after the ride service gave the university $200,000 in free vouchers just more than a month ago, in a continued effort to help students avoid unsafe situations.

The funding comes from a partnership started last month between Uber and It’s On Us, a nonprofit organization working to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, as well as Temple’s chapter of Student Activists Against Sexual Assault, a student organization that aims to combat sexual violence. 

“What Uber has done for our student body is immense, in more ways than one,” wrote Ray Epstein, founder and president of SAASA, in a statement to The Temple News. “They’ve helped our students get home, and they have significantly driven our mission of reducing campus sexual assaults with preventative measures.”

Uber’s original $200,000 in free rides were all claimed by Temple students in less than 72 hours. Each student who used a voucher was given four $20 free ride vouchers, meaning only the first 2,500 students to sign up received rides.

While the collaboration received overwhelmingly positive feedback, many students were left frustrated after being unable to redeem free rides. 

This time, students who received free rides from the original grant will not be eligible to redeem vouchers, Epstein said.

“Uber and It’s On Us recognized the success of the initial test-run, and the recognition across the city,” Epstein wrote. “This funding has the same intended purpose as the previous grant. We want people to use these in sexually vulnerable, unsafe situations.”

Students can again claim $20 dollar vouchers that can be used within a nine-and-a-half mile radius of Main Campus. The additional vouchers became available Wednesday at 4 p.m. and must be redeemed by the end of 2023. 

SAASA’s continued collaboration with It’s On Us and Uber has also made Temple’s administration more willing to listen to the club, giving them a seat at the table during university-related safety discussions.

“[Uber has] elevated our organization in ways I’d never imagined possible,” Epstein wrote. “It is incredibly rare that a university’s administration entertains the concerns of a club like ours, but since our partnership with Uber, they’re listening. Our organization is now sitting on student advisory with campus police and student government. We have a voice, a real, amplified voice, and Temple is listening.”

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