OPD and Ole Miss ASB release statement in support of rideshare ordinance

Published 6:04 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Oxford Police Department and the Ole Miss Associated Student Body released a statement voicing their support for the ride share ordinance and offer information about the Board of Aldermen’s adopted ordinance.

Discussions started for the Square Transportation Hubs in September of 2019. In March of 2021, city officials met with the Senior Operations and Logistics Manager of Uber and Marketing Operations Associate, and the Senior Manager of Government and Transit Partnership of Lyft.

Conversations continued in the fall to include the ASB. City officials then met with local taxi owners, ASB members and executives from Uber and Lyft. Both Uber and Lyft reviewed the city’s proposed locations and pickup times, discussed several possible solutions to increase safety and relieving congestion, and ultimately supported the city’s proposal.

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A lighting consultant reviewed the existing infrastructure to confirm safe levels of light at each location. In October of 2021, the ASB passed a senate resolution on supporting the creation of the Square Transportation on Hubs. In the fall of 2021, the city of Oxford Board of Alderman held three separate public hearings to discuss the proposed ordinance and gather the public feedback which resulted in the adoption of the ordinance.

“The City of Oxford and Oxford Police Department’s ultimate goal with the creation of the Square Transportation Hubs is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of downtown patrons, not create more arrests,” said the statement.

The statement reports that the OPD made 680 arrests for public intoxication in 2015 and the law enforcement agency has seen a steady decrease in those stats since that year. In 2021, the Oxford Police Department made 249 arrests for public intoxication.

“The mission of the Square Transportation Hubs is to create safe and efficient pickup locations in the downtown area,” reads the statement. “On any busy night, traffic around the Square can become gridlocked which delays getting a safe ride home. This plan allows drivers to pickup riders more efficiently. Three pickup locations were selected based on proximity to bars and restaurants and accessible and safe waiting areas. Location based pickup is common practice in entertainment districts in other cities.”

The city established established a downtown district years ago and added the OPD Safe Site location for the purpose of ensuring safety and keeping the entertainment area thriving.

Security cameras, lights, marked parking locations, and other precautions were all part of the safety measures put in place. If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, reach out to the OPD at their Safe Site tent or at 662-232-2400.

For the official statement from the Oxford Police Department and the Ole Miss Associated Student Body, click below:

Square Transportation Hubs Press Release