UAB’s Parking & Transportation Services unlocked 136 cars, started 140 vehicles, aided in fixing 41 flat tires and assisted 14 people who ran out of gas on campus as part of its Motorist Assistance Road Service (MARS).

And that was just in May.

For those who aren’t already familiar with it, MARS – which got its start four years ago – is a free service for the UAB campus and hospital community.

“It’s a very helpful service,” says Karen Moody, business officer in Parking and Transportation and creator of the MARS program, adding that she herself has had to use the service to have air put in a tire. “We’ve had a lot of individuals thanking our department for providing this service.”

So, if you’ve locked your keys in your car, find your car can’t start, acquire a flat tire or run out of gas, call 975-MARS (6277) for assistance.

Parking and Transportation unlocked an average of 150 cars a month in 2005. If you average that out over an entire year and figure the minimum $35 most companies charge to unlock a vehicle, that was a savings of at least $63,000 for UAB employees.

“If we didn’t have it there would be a lot of unhappy people on campus,” says Moody. “It’s a great asset to the university. The people who work on the program are professional and always willing to help.”

“We’re not mechanics, but we will do our best to get you on your way or find someone who can,” says Bob Davis, Transportation supervisor. “We just want to remind the UAB community we’re here to help.”