A University of Central Florida student won a semester’s worth of free transportation, courtesy of ridesharing service Uber.
Lily Kunzie, of UCF’s class of 2019, was Florida’s winner, Uber announced Tuesday. She will receive a $1,600 credit toward rides for the fall as part of the company’s nationwide “Semester of Uber” contest. One winner was chosen from each participating state.
The sweepstakes — held from Aug. 24 through Sept. 7 — was available to students 18 years or older with a student (.edu) email address at each of Florida’s 12 state colleges and universities. Kunzie was randomly selected out of more than 3,500 entries from colleges and universities in Ft. Myers/Naples, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee and Tampa Bay.
“College schedules can be hectic and getting from place to place can be just as challenging,” said Uber representative Javi Correoso. “We are proud to give Lily this opportunity to get around safely and more easily this semester.”
As part of the promotion, Uber shared several tips for using ridesharing safely for students who either don’t want the hassle of car ownership or have been drinking and don’t want to get behind the wheel.
According to the Uber blog, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported 685 drunk driving fatalities in Florida last year, making up nearly 28 percent of all total traffic fatalities. The goal of ridesharing is to cut down on incidents of drunken driving, as well as providing convenient, affordable transportation options.
Among ways to stay safe while ridesharing to and from the dorms, Uber suggests:
– Riders wait inside. Drivers are given directions to the pickup point, and users are notified when they’re arriving. That way, there’s no need to flag them down. Passengers can wait for a ride from the comfort of a dorm instead of curbside or down the block.
– Lost items can be found. Uber lets you contact your driver after the trip to get back belongings left in the vehicle.
– Uber’s technology anonymizes phone numbers, so personal info stays confidential even when communicating with drivers.
– Since payments are on file in the app, there is no need for either riders or drivers to carry cash.
– Friends and loved ones can track trips, using the Share My ETA feature. That way, they know exactly where you are.