It’s no secret that college students sometimes like to party. It’s also no secret that, more often than not, there’s alcohol involved. While this, arguably, may not be a problem itself, the real issue occurs when the buzzed or drunk students need to find their way back from a party. This can lead to drunk driving.
Now, most college students probably know what a bad idea drunk driving is, but what do you really do when you’re designated driver doesn’t avoid the temptation of a beer or two or when you know you’ve been drinking but an Uber ride is so expensive?
It can be easy for students to convince themselves that they’re actually fine, that they can drive without any problems or that wherever they need to go isn’t actually that far away. With thousands of accidents caused by drunk driving each year, however, this decision could be deadly- if not for them, then for others around them.
One college student saw this problem and decided he wanted to help reduce it. Spencer Wood began giving campus rides to other students, at the University of Maine, when he was a student there. He and a friend launched a ridesharing system in an attempt to reduce the number of students tempted to drink and drive.
On its website Tip Whip says ”We’re not like those other ridesharing apps!” And it’s right.
Tip Whip is the first ridesharing app focused completely on college students and their safety. Its goal is to keep drunk college students off the roads and to provide them with a reliable service.
It’s also fare free
Fare-free, however, doesn’t mean that the service is completely free. As it says in the name, Tip Whip still includes tips. These tips are used to compensate drivers and show appreciation for the work they are doing. By only including tips, the prices of rides are kept down to an affordable amount. Tip Whip understands that college students don’t always have a lot of money, and if they’ve just been enjoying a night out, they probably don’t have much left in their wallet.
Getting Tip Whip and paying for your rides is easy. Students just need to download the app, create a free profile, and add a credit or debit card to their account. When that’s done, they can begin using the app to request rides. It is also possible for students’ parents to use their own credit or debit card for the account if they want to ensure that their student always has a safe alternative for transportation.
The drivers for this app are all college students themselves, so students don’t have to worry about getting into vehicles with complete strangers. Students can get to know other fellow students, and it can create a sense of community on campus.
Because drivers operate on their own campus, wait times are less than what you might find with other services, like Uber.
The bad news?
Currently, Tip Whip is only available at a few select campuses across the United States. Those campuses are: University of Maine, University of Georgia, Clemson University, Old Dominion University, East Carolina University, and the University of Louisville. If you aren’t at one of these campuses, Tip Whip isn’t available to you.
The good news?
Tip Whip is looking to expand. Putting a ridesharing system into place can take a lot of work and it’s a collaborative effort, but it’s been done on six campuses before. If you’re interested in expanding the app to include your campus, you can contact Tip Whip on the “Contact” section of their website. Local business sponsorships can also provide a push for bringing Tip Whip to your campus.
Regardless of whether or not it's in your area, you’ve got to appreciate the thought behind such a useful app. College is supposed to be one of the best times of your life. It’s not a time to get caught drinking and driving, or to get into a potentially fatal accident.
This app can create an ease of mind for parents and students alike, by letting students still enjoy the parties they want to go to, but without the risk that drunk driving brings.