Thursday, July 14, 2005

The University of Texas in Austin may soon have a new tool to help combat drunk driving.

It's roughly a 13-block hike from the UT campus down to the entertainment district of Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, something many students do every weekend.

Now they may have a safer and more convenient way to get home not only from Sixth Street but anywhere in the Capital City.

UT student Omar Ochoa likes the convenience of using his pre-paid BEVO Bucks card when he doesn't have cash to buy a drink.

It's an option that may soon translate to a cab ride home for UT students this fall.

"We could either do it on the student ID, or it could possibly even be on another card. It would have the cab number on it. It would say what it was for," UT Student Government Vice President Elizabeth Brummett said.

Right now it's being dubbed "cab cash."

"You would have to prepay of course, but we would hopefully get it as an optional student fee. When students register, they have a list of fees they can buy like a parking permit or a performing arts pass," Brummett said.

The Yellow Cab Company already has a similar system in place for daily customers called taxi cards.

"Anything to keep people who have been drinking off the road is a good idea, and people seem to be reluctant sometimes to spend their money on a cab. It just seems to be easier when they have these cards," Michelle Moore with the Yellow Cab Company said.

UT's Legal Affairs must approve this before the program goes into effect.

If everything goes as planned, cab cash could be an option for students as early as next month.

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