The car-hailing service Uber is hoping students around the country, including those at some of the South's largest universities, will make the mobile app part of college life this fall.

The company announced Thursday that it will bring service to 22 college towns, including Tuscaloosa and Auburn - home to the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

The app lets users see a map of nearby drivers using personal vehicles or upgraded black cars and SUVs, get an estimated time of arrival and cost and order a ride. It's all designed to compete with traditional taxis. / Birmingham Yellow Cab

Birmingham and Jefferson County are getting some extra help fighting crime. About 100 taxi drivers in Jefferson County have been trained to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. If they see something, they can call police and report it immediately. Yellow Cab announced the new "TOP" or Taxis on Patrol program Monday in front of Birmingham City Hall. The taxis will be equipped with GPS technology that can send and receive information. They will also have security cameras that will be able to help police during investigations.