Half-off Uber rides announced for Burlington County community college students

A pilot between Uber and Rowan College at Burlington County will give students a half-off subsidy for rides between the community college’s four campuses.

Taking Uber to class is getting a little cheaper in Burlington County.

A nine-week pilot program between Uber and Rowan College at Burlington County will give students a half-off subsidy for rides among the community college’s four campuses: Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Mount Holly, and Willingboro.

The 50 percent student discount will be available to students with college email addresses using a promotion code on uberPOOL rides from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday from Wednesday through May 15.

As RCBC closes its Pemberton campus, the Uber program provides a potential model for making the college accessible to students across the county, said Cathy Briggs, dean of student success.

“We still have a whole part of our community and individuals who are looking for access to higher education,” she said Wednesday. “Just because the Pemberton location is no longer one of our operating centers and a place where they can take classes doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t provide access.”

The decision to close the Pemberton campus and expand the Mount Laurel campus led to concerns about accessibility for the only college in the state’s largest county by land size.

“Our next step is to start to look at, where are the pockets in the county where we need to create additional pickup and drop-off locations so it’s not just restricted to our campuses?” Briggs said, citing River Line and other NJ Transit locations as ideas.

Asked whether that would allow RCBC to provide transportation options for students from outside the county, Briggs said it could, adding, “It’s absolutely something that we can explore.”

The college, previously known as Burlington County College, has never run a shuttle service between its campuses. When the idea was last explored, in 2009, the school estimated that it would cost about $99,000 a year to lease and operate each shuttle and that two shuttles would be required.

RCBC is allocating $12,000 for the test, projecting about 90 students a week taking 187 rides at a cost of about $1,400 a week.