OPINION: Beep in Boone no longer affordable for students


El Shedrick, Opinion Writer

If you are a student at App State, you’ve most likely heard of Beep. With over 30,000 members, the Boone Student Beeper Facebook is a fairly simple way to get a ride around the Boone area. All users have to do is scroll through the posts in the group, select which driver they want and then text or call with their information. Most Beep drivers accept Venmo, Cash App and cash. 

An app called Ride Beep was released in October 2020. It contains very similar functions to the Facebook group and is available for download on most iPhones. Beep has been around for a while now and has been a consistent way for students to catch late-night rides back home for low prices. 

“Beep was $2 for groups my freshman year,” said Mackenzie Hall, a senior social work major. 

After scrolling through the Facebook group for some time, the lowest price available for groups was $4, which was a rare find. Most beepers now charge $5 for groups and I even came across a few beepers asking for $8 for groups. Pricing for a single person is even more expensive, with most beepers charging $8-$10, and some users even making their rates as high as $12. 

This is likely due to the high gas prices seen around Boone and the rest of the country. According to AAA, North Carolina’s average gas price was $2.696 on Sept. 28, 2018. Today, average gas prices for North Carolina are $3.324. The result of these increasing prices and the inflation occurring globally is obvious for those who use Beep: ridiculous prices. Students should not have to pay $8-$10 to get themselves home. Many students using Beep are going to and from parties, and not having enough money to get home can lead to situations such as being stranded in an unfamiliar area. As for alternatives to Beep, Uber is out of the question. Looking at Uber prices, it would cost around $18 to call an Uber from my apartment to one of the fraternities people typically go to. 

An underlooked and free alternative to beep? Mountaineer Safe Ride. According to the Appalachian Police Department website, “The service is offered during the fall and spring semesters and is available from 9:45 p.m. – 2:45 a.m., seven days a week, excluding university holidays and both summer sessions. The first call for service will be taken at 9:45 p.m. and the last call for service will be taken at 2:45 a.m.” 

The service does only pick up from certain areas of campus, noted on their website.  Safe Ride is reliable, offered all nights of the week, and most importantly for college students, is free. In addition, the many Night Owl routes of the AppalCart make transportation in Boone a lot easier. Instead of paying an excessive amount of money for Beep, free services like AppalCart and Safe Ride can easily take you where you need to go.