The (real) SUber story

The Uber-like campus car service fooled a few hoping long waits for South Campus buses were a thing of the past.

OK, the jig is up.

This morning The NewsHouse published a story which detailed a slick, new, app-driven car service which was set to replace the university shuttle busses which we all know and love. Unfortunately, while the thought of never again having to wait in Syracuse's sub-zero temperatures for a bus to class is a rosy thought -- it is not a true one. 

So, in the spirit of belated transparency, here is how the SUber story came to be:

First The NewsHouse staff got together for an April Fools brainstorming session. We threw around a number of ideas -- some more outrageous than others -- before we ultimately settled on the SUbercuse car service concept.

We were confident that the idea would generate some buzz among the student body but we also thought that it would be just believable enough to avoid triggering many red flags. 

Once we had our idea nailed down, we collectively embraced the 'go big or go home' mentality and really committed to our comical concoction. The NewsHouse's clever and imaginative Allie Caren whipped up our fake news story, and in an effort to comprehensively cover our tracks, we created an entirely separate SUbercuse website -- which features sharp, black-and-white images of three lovely NewsHouse staff members smiling and posing with and in a super cool (SUber cool?) luxury ride. Props to Sam Maller and Drew Osumi for helping re-create the Uber look to a T.

SUber at

Beyond the SUber site, we set up a fake but operational SUbercuse email account as well as false social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Additionally we leaked our little prank to some helpful and humorous NewsHouse alumni who helped make our story a little more believable by following SUber on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and even writing about the spoof SUber service on

Like I said -- we really committed.

In the end, we received numerous responses -- some from those who had fallen for our joke, some from those who wanted to congratulate us on a prank well done, and some from those who were less than thrilled about our car service con: 


We especially loved The Kumquat Co-Founder, Sarah Schuster's remark:


And perhaps most surprising to us, our fictional feature ended up stealing a little bit of the thunder from a ride sharing program called Zimride, which launched just yesterday at Syracuse University.

In any case, it seems that there is a robust market for transportation alternatives at SU -- who knew!

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