City officials and University of Wisconsin-Madison student representatives plan to collaborate in arranging an alternative late-night transportation service to SAFEcab, a nighttime cab service recently eliminated from the university budget.
Although the Student Services Finance Committee voted in April to reinstate funding for SAFEcab, UW-Madison Transportation Services said they would no longer manage the nighttime cab program, leading to its discontinuation.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said he is working with Associated Students of Madison representatives and city staff to find an alternative solution to SAFEcab.
Although at this point the three proposed solutions are in their introductory phases, Resnick said the alternative ideas include administering SAFEcab through another university department such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department or using a cab service other than Union Cab.
Another idea involves a city proposal of a rapid taxi service in downtown Madison, according to Resnick. For a standard cost of around $3 or $4, students would be able to use a taxi service that would cover the immediate campus area.
“Making sure someone gets home safely or making sure you as an individual get home safely should be one of the highest priorities, particularly any time alcohol is involved,” Resnick said.
ASM Press Office Director David Gardner said student leaders would address the issue through ASM’s Campus Safety campaign, which was created after students told ASM representatives they felt campus crime seemed to be increasing.
“There have been a lot of big issues that make students question whether they’re safe on campus,” Gardner said, referencing the recent attack on UW-Madison running back Montee Ball as one example.
Resnick said there are benefits and drawbacks to the proposed ideas, such as administrative costs and city zoning laws, but city and student leaders are working toward an alternative to SAFEcab.
“It’s going to be a fight, but I believe it is one of the top priorities for students,” Resnick said.
Gardner said ASM plans to hold a town hall meeting in the coming weeks to reach out to students, city officials, university transportation and the community at large for further opinions and proposals.
“Primarily we hope to work with the alderman, with city officials, with UW transportation services in finding what the best way for us to move forward would be,” Gardner said.