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UA News
Lifeline offers free cab rides

By Keren G. Raz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday September 11, 2002

Students, staff and faculty who pick up one of the cards being passed out this week can get a cab ride home, to a hospital, shelter or police station for free this year. Student Lifeline the company that supplied the cards largely by selling advertisements for them provides cardholders with a toll free number to request a taxi ride. The cab fare and a tip is covered by the card, which has no limit.

Student government, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, ordered 50,000 cards which they will begin distributing next week, said Adam Bronnenkant, ASUA senator in charge of the Lifeline program.

ASUA will begin distributing the cards in residence halls Monday. The ASUA senate will hand out cards on the mall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday. Starting on Monday, distribution will take place on the UA mall for two weeks. Cards will also be handed out to the presidents of fraternities and sororities next week.

"Anybody who has the card and feel they are in a life-threatening, dangerous, and compromising situation that they feel they need to get out of, then they can call us up, and we will pick them up," said Steve Bochier, Student Lifeline representative. "If somebody wants to drink, we don't want them to kill someone on the highway, so we want them to call us up anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Chris Barber, a mechanical engineering sophomore said that he would take advantage of the card.

"It would be convenient to use it if something ever happened to you or your friends," he said.

The corporate Web site suggests the card be used for bad dates and traffic accidents, among other incidents.

However, not all students plan to use the free services provided by the card.

Casey Van Zutphen, a biochemistry junior, does not intend to employ the taxi service because "the practical usage is minimal compared to the ideal since most students have cars."

Although ASUA sponsors the program, it does not pay for the taxi services. The student government paid about $2,5000 to bringing Bochier to Tucson to sell ads for the card. Bochier solicits local sponsors for the program in exchange for advertising.

The Lifeline program has been held up by delays since plans initially went underway. Student Lifeline cards were supposed to be distributed over the summer. However, distribution dates were pushed to the fall when Bochier did not arrive in Tucson until the middle of the summer, said Jennifer Reece, executive vice president of ASUA.

Then, lifeline cards were supposed to arrive last week, but a mixup and an incorrect arrival date pushed distribution dates back again.

For more information, Student Lifeline's website is www.studentlifeline.com.

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