A rideshare driver transporting a student passenger, was assaulted with a handgun on Monday at McClintock Avenue. The Department of Public Safety reported no injuries, and no shots were fired.
According to DPS, this was a case of road rage. The suspect driver pointed her handgun from her car window at the driver of the rideshare car. The passenger in the suspect car also got out and threw food at the rideshare driver.
DPS Assistant Chief David Carlisle said that there had never been a case of road rage like this. He advises students not to go out by themselves after dark.
"Don't respond to someone who's upset. Drive away. Avoid them if you can," Carlisle said. "If you cannot, call DPS. Don't engage that person."
According to Carlisle, Campus Cruiser should be the first choice for students. Campus Cruisers offersfree rides on-and-off campus from 6 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. seven days a week. The drivers of the USC Campus Cruiser are USC students, which students say makes them feel safer.
"We are affiliated with the same school, and I know they are employed by the school, so they are responsible to act accordingly," Olivia Hedding, a USC junior, said.
However, as the university population grows, Campus Cruiser has reached its maximum capacity. This has extended the waiting time, according to USC Safe Ride Program.
"I called it once at freshman year, and it said 30 minutes wait time," Hedding said. "So I just move with Lyft."
A contract between USC Transportation and Lyft solved the capacity issue. According to the Safe Ride Program, last year Lyft complemented the Campus Cruiser program with up to 30,000 free rides per week.
USC students can get free Lyft rides inside the Safe Ride Program boundary between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.
"Lyft and Uber are more convenient for me," USC Junior Nick Delman said., said. "I've also been using it before I came to the college. [I got] used to it."
While this is convenient for students. DPS also reported that the number of traffic collisions is increasing due to rideshares. There has been a 43 percent spike in Lyft rides this year with 2,300 Lyft rides in the USC area in the past week.
The safety measures in Uber or Lyft apps are important to passengers who would like to use rideshares, but Carlisle said students should use good common sense to avoid dangers.
"If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't," he said. "So don't take that ride, pull over and get out. Most importantly, go with a friend."