The Oxford Police Department and the Ole Miss Associated Student Body (ASB) wanted to voice our support and offer information about the new taxi and rideshare ordinance adopted by the Board of Aldermen. 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 Partnerships 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 relieve congestion, and ultimately supported the city’s proposal. 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 supporting the creation of the Square Transportation Hubs. In the fall of 2021, the city of Oxford Board of Aldermen held three separate public hearings to discuss the proposed ordinance and gather 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. In 2015, the Oxford Police Department made 680 arrests for public intoxication. There has been 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. On any busy night, traffic around the Square can become gridlocked which delays getting a safe ride home. This plan allows drivers to pick up 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.
We 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 OPD at our Safe Site tent or at 662-232-2400.