Apr 052010
Authors: Eric Berlinberg

As you may know, RamRide has gone through quite the transition during this academic year. Having started by running fewer than 10 cars on average last year, struggling for volunteers and finding it difficult to obtain monetary and food donations for operations, the program has overcome many hurdles.

It is a testament to such a great staff this year. Without the help of the associate and assistant directors in RamRide, none of this would be possible.

We’ve done quite a few things this year to help make RamRide more accessible and effective for you, as a student.

For example, we’ve implemented an electronic dispatch system. All information you give us over the phone is now submitted and stored electronically. We transmit the information between our dispatch office and the cars via a new computer program, the cell network and GPS. It makes loss of information, dropped rides and miscommunications decrease to 0.

We’ve upgraded the dispatch office. Along with the electronic dispatch system, we have upgraded a significant amount of the RamRide dispatch office to reflect our modern day program.

On Oct. 24 of last semester, the program’s sixth birthday, RamRide drove it’s 100,000th student; our biggest milestone to date. Achieving such a momentous milestone in only six years is extremely impressive and puts us on the map as the fastest growing safe ride program in the nation and arguably the second largest (next to Texas A&M’s CARPOOL program).

We’ve also increased relations with the CSU and local police departments. Working with the campus police department is one of the most important parts of our program. We extend a third arm of what the law enforcement agencies are trying to do in Northern Colorado by keeping the roads of Fort Collins safe.

In turn, we must have a strong relationship with CSU Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, all of which have become close contacts throughout the course of this year.

We’ve also increased efficiency within RamRide. Little things such as volunteer paperwork overhauls have made it easier for you as a student to sign up to volunteer for RamRide. This program would not be possible without your willingness to volunteer, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Our Web site is easier to use and is only getting better. We are constantly trying to find ways we can improve our signup process and streamline the volunteer-side of RamRide.

What can you expect for the future? A lot. We are currently re-evaluating where RamRide fits within CSU. ASCSU is a great parent for RamRide.

But we think it’s time for the program to branch off from ASCSU. We are currently working with the stakeholders in our organization to see where RamRide fits to best manage its modern day operations.

We are also expecting possible increases to our operations office, the number of vehicles we utilize next academic year and more.

RamRide has always been there for you, and we want to show our appreciation for the more than 113,000 students that have made the smart choice to use our services.

Whether you are under the influence of alcohol, or simply tired and need a ride home from the library, RamRide will pick you up. We are more than a sober ride home. We are a safe ride home.

Eric Berlinberg is the ASCSU Director of RamRide. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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