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UA News
LifeLine cab service meets trouble early

By Jose Ceja
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 16, 2002

A student government-sponsored program that provides students with cards good for free cab rides in emergency situations got off to a rocky start in its first week of operation in Tucson.

Because of confusion on the part of the operators who call cabs for UA students, companies in Phoenix were being called for cardholders who requested cabs in Tucson, said Adam Bronnenkant, Associated Students of the University of Arizona senator.

Also, two cardholding students who requested rides were turned away because all of the local taxicabs contracted under Student LifeLine Inc. the New York-based company that distributes cards for emergency rides were on call, he said.

About 8,000 of the 50,000 LifeLine cards were distributed around the UA last week, with about 5,000 going to residence halls.ASUA intends to eventually distribute 50,000 cards, but has fallen behind schedule. A shipment of 42,000 cards is due to arrive within two weeks or sooner for distribution to UA students, staff and faculty, Bronnenkant said.

Bronnenkant said that the problems with the LifeLine operators have been addressed and is confident that the service will work as planned.

"We were expecting that there would be bugs to work out, this is one of them," he said.

The LifeLine service was approved by ASUA last year and is paid for by advertisements which appear on Lifeline cards.

The program cost ASUA about $2,700, with fees going pay the advertising representatives who sold the ads that support the free emergency taxi service, said ASUA president Doug Hartz.

In the past, ASUA has been hesitant to define what constitutes an emergency, however, the taxi delivers riders to hospitals, shelters, the police station or home, depending upon the emergency.

The cards are free and will be distributed on the UA Mall.

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