Auburn city officials urge safety first as Uber returns to the Plains

Auburn city officials urge safety first as Uber returns to the Plains

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) – The popular rideshare app Uber has made its way back to Auburn.

However, before you order the hottest trend in ride-sharing, there are a few things Auburn city officials want students to keep in mind.

"I think it is great. It is great for the riders and the drivers," Uber driver Eric Frazier said.

Excitement is a common feeling among Uber drivers now that the ride-sharing service has made its way back to Auburn. Drivers and riders are not the only ones that are excited.

Officials with the Auburn Department of Public Safety are looking forward to the added safety benefits of ride sharing.

"One of the concerns in a college town is drinking and driving. There have been studies since Uber has come about that show that in cities that use the service there have been significant reductions drunk driving arrests and crashes," Susan McCallister, Associate Director of Public Safety said.

While many students see the benefit of Uber being in town, some are still not sold on the idea of getting into a car alone with a stranger.

"I think it is better than people driving under the influence, but I wouldn't take it by myself, I would rather people take it with a group or something like that," Uber user Victoria Popenfoose said.

but if you feel unsafe while using a rideshare application, public safety officials say you can use the Rave Guardian App. The app acts as a safety timer on your smartphone.

"Maybe you are going for your Uber ride and it will take you 15 minutes," McCallister said. "You set the timer for 15 minutes and select someone as your guardian and they can track where you are going during that time. If you don't turn off the timer you get an alert that your timer is in alarm and that they need to check on you."

The Rave Guardian app is available to everyone but for Auburn students that download the app and register their .edu email address, there is an added benefit of being able to text the Auburn Police Department.

The app is available to download on Android and iPhone.

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