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Student Government to revise Lyft discount initiative

Many students who tried to use the Lyft discount code over the summer received an error message that stated the code was expired. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

After troubles during an initial pilot program, the ride-sharing service Lyft and Student Government (SG) will provide monthly discount codes that will grant USF students $5 off every ride on Friday and Saturday nights within 15 miles of USF.

Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine finalized a contract with Lyft services to establish a more consistent method to distribute the discount codes. SG will release a new discount code on its website and social media, which will expire every month.

From a marketing and communication standpoint, Kheireddine said the monthly code approach will prompt more people to use the discount code and increase usage.

The pilot program began in July with the intent to give safe and discounted rides to students on weekends. Within weeks of the launch, students received a red error screen reading “this code has expired” when trying to use the SG-provided code.

The contract with Lyft services ended a week or two after the code was promoted during the fall semester, according to Kheireddine.

Kheireddine said there was difficulty in spreading the word and gaining recognition during the summer pilot. Therefore, the pilot was extended into the first week of the fall semester so more students were able to utilize the discount.

The $3,000 cap fee to partner with Lyft is being taken from the SG executive budget. Kheireddine said additional funding will be requested from the SG Senate through an interim budget request next week.

The contract is on a rolling basis, so as long as SG and Lyft are willing to continue working together, Kheireddine said he believes it will remain in place until the end of the year.

As the partnership with Lyft continues, Kheireddine said an increase in the people using the service will eventually lead to discounted rides on weekdays as well.

“I hope Lyft will have a long-term partnership with Student Government that will last for the years to come,” Kheireddine said.