Ride-hailing company Uber is finally operating in Nevada, and there are no intentions of leaving any time soon.

In the past, Uber has faced major backlash from taxi companies and legislation alike.

However, Uber is up and running in Nevada again, after a lengthy negotiation with Nevada legislators. However according to the Las Vegas Sun, Clark County officials said that Uber is not technically allowed to operate without a specific kind of  business license — one that the county hasn’t even created yet. While these are the stipulations laid out for the company, Uber has ignored the directive and began operations anyway.

Though it’s been almost a year since Uber’s ride-hailing operations were suspended by Nevada, The Nevada Sagebrush could not be happier that the ride-sharing company will now be able to operate in the state. 

Located in 60 countries, Uber is still growing at a national and global level.

Part of Uber’s, and other ride-sharing companies’, appeal is its accessibility. The company can be instantly accessed by downloading its app to your smartphone and entering in your current and desired location.

If you are familiar with the Associated Students of the University of Nevada’s Campus Escort, you know that they provide free transportation from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week. In addition, the fixed-route shuttle that runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday also provides a free shuttle from the residence halls to the shopping centers at Mae Anne and McCarran every Saturday.

Campus Escort provides a vital  service to the University of Nevada, Reno, and it has been noted  that they have provided over 40,000 rides last year alone. Though Campus Escort cannot respond to every single call,  they do their best to accommodate the university’s increasing student population.

Unfortunately Campus Escort’s focus of service is based on academic pursuits. When it comes to providing rides to students who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they have a strict policy prohibiting the transportation of these individuals. 

In an earlier issue, The Nevada Sagebrush reported that between 2011 and 2013 the number of liquor violations on the UNR campus more than doubled in August of this year alone. Fifty-two citations or arrests were handed out for minors in possession/consumption of alcohol while seven have been given out since the start of September.

This is primarily an issue of safety for students at the university. Pretending like drinking doesn’t exist on a college campus not only turns a blind eye to the student body, but it also jeopardizes student safety. Students should have more options to get a sober ride home at an affordable rate.

With Uber now operating in northern Nevada, students do have another option. Prices vary when it comes to using Uber. More often than not, Uber rides run cheaper than taxi rides. Either way, having another option for intoxicated students is crucial for maintaining a safe student body.

As of right now, it doesn’t look like the rise in alcohol-related incidents will be decreasing any time soon. We are on a “high-risk campus.”

With that said, students should be using every resource available to them when it comes to finding a sober means of transportation. The rapid growth of the university will likely be paired with a rise in alcohol-related incidents. Uber isn’t hurting northern Nevada; it is bettering it.

Specifically, it is helping the students of the university, which are an important asset to our community. Uber isn’t just some sleazy ride-hailing company that is stealing all of the taxi companies’ thunder; it’s a company that is giving the students of UNR another option when traveling, sober or not. Yes, as students, our main focus should be academics, but it is ignorant to believe we will not play into the culture of drinking as college students. Uber is here, so let’s enjoy and use it wisely, Nevada.

The Nevada Sagebrush editor desk can be reached at tbynum@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @The Sagebrush.