ASA approves Viking Lyft program to provide low-cost, local transportation

Students now have a cheap and easy way of travelling around
Sioux Falls thanks to the Augustana Student Association’s (ASA)
new Viking Lyft program.

The program, which is a partnership with the ridesharing company Lyft, started on Feb. 10 and gives students who sign up a $5 discount on four Lyft rides per month. To receive the discount, the pick-up or drop-off location of the ride must be within 26th Street to 37th Street and Spring Avenue to Glendale Avenue.
According to ASA President Cole Tessendorf, the program has
been positively received by students through outlets such as social
media, where he noted many people seem to be excited about it.
According to Tessendorf, the program, which has been in the
works since last school year, serves as a way to provide safe travel
to students that don’t have a means of transportation on campus.
“We have some transportation,” Tessendorf said, referring
to ASA’s Sioux Area Metro program, “but there’s not immediate
transportation to randomly go [around town].”

According to Tessendorf, the motivation behind the Lyft pro-
gram was seeing students walk from campus to places like Hy-
Vee in the snow during the winter. At the time of seeing this, Tes-
sendorf was the chair of the ASA Curriculum Committee, and he

brought forward these problems to the committee.
According to freshman ASA senator Scott Shlanta, the new
program solves that problem.
“I think [the program] is cool because it expands the horizon
of each and every Augustana student,” Shlanta said. “I’d say the
boundaries for your average student would be 41st Street, walking
distance. That is the furthest that an Augustana student would be
able to go [on foot]”

According to Tessendorf, aside from the issue of overall trans-
portation, a major focus of the Viking Lyft program has specifi-
cally been international students, as many don’t have their own

cars at Augustana.
Throughout the project’s life, many international students have

voiced their desire for an affordable, reliable and accessible trans-
portation program such as this.

According to Vedant Thakkar, a freshman from India, a pro-
gram like this serves as a way to give international students more

freedom on campus and throughout the city.

“Transportation [has been] a very big difficulty for me,” Thak-
kar said.

Because he does not have a car on campus, Thakkar said he was
reliant on others to get rides last semester.
However, he said that the new program has alleviated some of
the stress of that problem.
“I feel independent,” Thakkar said.

Along with many other international students, however, Thak-
kar said he views the $5 discount as not entirely enough, referring

to the temporary Lyft program that ASA put in place over winter
According to Tessendorf, during the break, ASA used Lyft
events to give students still on campus $10 discounts. However,

this amount was scaled back in the current program, as more stu-
dents use it.

“I have mixed feelings about [the new program] because I ex-
perienced the ‘free trial’ of it,” Thakkar said. “But I also unders-
tand that now the whole student body has access to it, […] so it’s


Shlanta, who has talked to many students on behalf of the Vi-
king Lyft program, said that this sentiment is common but that

most students agree it’s necessary to have a lower discount so that
more students can benefit from it.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: