Campus News

Kentucky Wildcab Now Powered by Uber

Photo of the Wildcab car.
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2022) — University of Kentucky Transportation Services is excited to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership with Uber that marries Kentucky Wildcab’s popular student-operated ride-sharing service to Uber’s familiar and proven technology platform.

Wildcab will transition to the Uber platform for the final weekend of the spring semester. This soft launch will allow the new platform to be tested during a traditionally low demand service weekend, providing valuable data and feedback in advance of the formal launch planned for the start of the 2022 fall semester.

The Kentucky Wildcab service hasn’t changed; rides are still free-of-charge, the vehicles are driven by fellow students, and the hours of service remain the same, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday when classes are in session. The only change is the way in which you request a Wildcab ride. When the service resumes this Thursday, April 28, instead of using the Kentucky Wildcab app, students will use the familiar Uber app to request a ride.

Transitioning to this new platform will require students to activate Wildcab within the Uber platform to be eligible to request rides. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the sign-up process as soon as possible. Due to technical integration limitations when authenticating users, this process is not instantaneous and may create delays for users if attempting to sign-up at the time a ride is desired. To sign-up, follow two simple steps:

  1. Download the Uber app onto your smartphone and create an Uber account, if you don’t already have one.
  2. Complete the Wildcab Uber enrollment form, which will verify your UK student status and grant you access to the free Wildcab option. If you already have an Uber account, be sure to use the email address that is connected to your account. 

If creating a new Uber account, students will be asked to enter a form of payment — credit, debit, etc. — but Kentucky Wildcab remains free-of-charge. You’ll only be charged if you opt to choose a traditional Uber rideshare vehicle option instead of a Wildcab.

Once your UK student eligibility has been verified, Wildcab service will be enabled on your account for the duration of you time as a Wildcat and you can begin requesting Wildcab rides directly from the Uber app. After selecting a pickup location and destination, you’ll be offered various ride options. If the request is within Kentucky Wildcab’s service area and during Wildcab’s service hours, Wildcab will appear as one of these options, allowing you to choose the free and familiar Wildcab service or instead opt for a paid Uber rideshare vehicle option. 

“Transportation Services’ partnership with Uber demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing the best possible Wildcab user experience,” said Lance Broeking, director of UK Transportation Services. “Leveraging Uber’s industry leading technology infrastructure and proven ride-sharing algorithm allows the university to continue to improve the predictability and efficiency of the program.”

The Uber app supports the university’s commitment to inclusivity, supporting riders who may not have smartphones, credit cards, as well as riders with audible and visual impairments. The Uber app also supports more than 40 languages and the Wildcab services remains fully accessible to riders with disabilities or other mobility challenges. More information can be found by visiting the Wildcab website at

“Kentucky Wildcab has been promoting safe and responsible late-night transportation at the University of Kentucky since 2016,” said Broeking. “This partnership with Uber now makes it even easier for students to take advantage of this valuable service.”

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.