Help RamRide help you

 Uncategorized
Sep 072009
 
Authors: Matt Strauch

$1.75. That’s roughly how much of your semester general fees go to support RamRide, the Associated Students of CSU’s volunteer-driven safe non-judgmental ride home program.

Started in 2003 and modeled after the Texas A&M CARPOOL program, RamRide has provided CSU students more than 91,000 rides in situations where they weren’t able to get home on their own safely for one reason or another.

We wanted to give you some pointers on how best to use RamRide and what you can do to help us make the program more efficient.

First, by calling 970-491-3333, (save it in your cell phone) you can alert us that you need to be picked up from a local location and dropped off at your home, if you live in Fort Collins.

It’s important to understand that we will not drop you off at a bar or party. We keep track of destination points, and if we perceive there to be a lot of people going to the same location, we may begin refusing to take you there, dorms excluded.

After you’ve given us a call, you’ll be placed into the queue dependent upon the number of people in your party and the time that you called. We’re a six-vehicle operation on Thursday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and we jump up to 15 vehicles on Friday and Saturday running from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

We’ll continue to run the service each night until the very last ride has been given.

Wait times vary throughout the night: 10-11 p.m.: 10 to 15 minutes, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: 45 to 90 minutes and after 1 a.m.: up to two hours. We will call you when you’re next in line to be picked up. Please make sure you answer your phone the first time, as we will cancel your ride request if you don’t.

Tip: It’s best if you keep your riding party to three people or fewer. We have a limited number of 10 passenger vans, which tends to lengthen wait times for large groups. If you no longer need a ride, please give us a call. Other RamRide users would really appreciate it.

There will always be two volunteers in the vehicle: the driver and navigator. These people are volunteers (usually from a student organization) who have dedicated their weekend night to ensure that you get home safely.

Drivers have been instructed to drive safely and navigators will have a GPS unit to assist in route determination. Please treat them with courtesy and respect. RamRide may refuse rides or boot people out for any reason at any time, middle of nowhere included.

Make sure you have your student ID with you — we can only give rides to CSU students and their spouses. Also, calling multiple times, being rude over the phone or lying will negate your getting a ride that night. Being honest and courteous will help assure you we’ll do what we can to get you home.

How can you help? RamRide could always use more volunteers.

We recently hired Eric Berlinberg to be our new director of RamRide; however, we’re actively looking to hire assistant directors to help spread out the work. Please stop by the ASCSU office for more information and an application.

We utilize more than 2,000 volunteers each year to keep the program running. If you’re in a student organization and want to raise funds for your next event or program, RamRide can help. We’ll pay a registered student organization $12 per volunteer per night they help out.

At this time, only CSU students can volunteer. Drivers need to have health and auto insurance, navigators only need health coverage, and dispatchers need just their CSU IDs. We feed our volunteers each night they help us out in addition to providing an opportunity to serve about eight hours of community service.

The 100,000 total rides-given mark is in sight and we should reach it by the end of this semester. We’ll be sure to celebrate this milestone, watch out for more information.

For more information on RamRide, check out its Web site at http://ramride.colostate.edu or e-mail the RamRide staff at ascsu_ramride@mail.colostate.edu.

Matt Strauch is a sophomore Theatre and Political Science major and the ASCSU press secretary. His Collegian column appears on Tuesdays. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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