UISG to pair with Yellow Cab to provide airport shuttle service

UI Student Government will now pair with Yellow Cab to provide an airport shuttle service to the Eastern Iowa Airport over breaks.


Joseph Cress

The Yellow Cab of Iowa City’s dispatch is seen on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Elianna Novitch, Politics Reporter

As winter break approaches and students begin to plan their journeys home, University of Iowa Student Government has announced changes to its airport shuttle.

UISG will now partner with Yellow Cab to provide a shuttle service to the Eastern Iowa Airport for upcoming breaks. The shuttle will run Dec. 14 and 15 for winter break and also provide a return service back to the UI on Jan. 12 and 13.

“I was reading an article [that] listed how much [UISG] was paying per student to get them to the airport, and I did the math in my head and said, ‘Well, I can do that cheaper,’ ”  Yellow Cab manager Roger Bradley said. “[And] I said I might even be able to do it better.”

Last year, UISG worked with Express Limousine Service to provide the shuttle, which cost it around $32 per student. Bradley estimated that Yellow Cab will be able to get the average cost per student below $20.

RELATED: UISG making changes to airport shuttle service 

“Even with two students [per shuttle], the cost per student goes down to $18.50. So looking at our past average of almost $35 per student, this is a huge [decrease],” UISG Director of Student Services Anthony Haughton said. “Once we get three students in there, [we] are looking at about $10.66 for students. The more students that we get on every shuttle departure, the more effectively the funds are dispersed.”

UISG has allocated $12,500 toward the service this year.

To schedule and reserve rides to the airport, students will need to contact Yellow Cab and provide their names, student ID numbers, dates of travel, pickup locations, times of flight departure, and contact numbers.

UISG said students should allow for a window of availability for pickup to coordinate the shuttles more efficiently.

RELATED: UISG outlines goals & services in new report

Students will now also pay a $5 fee for their trip to the airport. However, if students are unable to be grouped with other students based on the departure time or location, they still will be provided a ride and will have to pay $10.

“That fee is just to make sure that students are remaining accountable to their rides,” Haughton said. “[It’s] also is to make sure that UISG can work with a third-party provider and then to make sure that the service remains financially sustainable into the future.”

RELATED: UISG sponsors free airport shuttle over school breaks

One of the main reasons UISG implemented changes to the shuttle is to make sure the service is financially sustainable to carry on in the future.

Yellow Cab will collect data about students using the service, which UISG and UI Parking & Transportation hope to use in the future.

“[We] really only have a year of data. And so getting another year of data will help us plan,” said April Wells, the communications and marketing manager for Parking & Transportation. “We’re still very much in the pilot phase, and so I do anticipate that at the end of this spring semester, we’ll do a review again and look at what things went really well [and] things we can improve on.”