For most college students, late nights at the library or at a friend’s dorm are an unavoidable facet of the University experience. Unfortunately, this somewhat nocturnal lifestyle often results in students walking back to their residence halls in the early morning hours, after UR’s shuttle system has shut down for the night.
In response to concerns about this, the Students’ Association Government and UR Security are putting a new initiative into action, currently titled the Safe Ride Home program. This program will provide students with on-call transportation between locations on the River Campus (such as the ITS Center, Carlson Science & Engineering Library and Todd Union) and some of the University’s more remote residential areas: Hillcourt, Southside and Riverview.
The program, which was announced during the Security Open Forum in Hoyt Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 19, will afford students an easier and safer way to get home during the hours after the shuttles stop running — starting around 1 a.m. and running until 4 or 4:30 a.m. daily.
The SA recently finalized the lease for the van that will run the service, which will be able to hold up to six passengers. According to Assistant Director of Security Operations Dana Perrin, the need for a system that would facilitate the transportation of more students was a major motivation for the program’s creation.
“One of the challenges with what we’re doing now is [that] we might get a single call for someone needing to go somewhere, and we would show up and four people will get in the car,” he said at the forum.
The van will be driven by students, making the program more affordable because a bus driver would not have to be paid to run a new shuttle. Security is currently compiling a list of students interested in becoming employed as drivers, which will likely pay around $10 an hour. In order to become a driver, students will have to pass a defensive driving course, and their driving record will be checked to make sure they don’t have any moving traffic violations.
The program doesn’t have an official start date, but according to SA President and senior Bradley Halpern, it should be up and running by the first week of November.
Halpern also suggested that students attend these monthly Joint Committee meetings, as they are “really good forums for getting to know the Security officers, voicing your concerns and learning about [Security-related] issues.”
Fleming is a member of the class of 2013.