Jul 262011
Authors: Allison Knaus

Colorado State University’s safe ride home just got streamlined.

RamRide patrons can expect a change in operations for the 2011-2012 school year including shorter wait times and more incentives for student volunteers according to officials.

An agreement signed with Motorpool, a company part of CSU’s Transportation Services Department, will increase the number of vehicles made available to RamRide, told ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg. The agreement guarantees nine vehicles Thursdays (up from six vehicles in 2010-2011), and 19 vehicles on Fridays and Saturdays (up from 15 vehicles in 2010-2011).

But with an increased number of vehicles means a heightened demand for student volunteers.
According to Berlinberg, RamRide has struggled in the past with getting student’s to volunteer for the program.

“It’s a double edged sword,” he said. “We have experienced long wait times in the past because we don’t have the volunteers to fill up cars.”

But beginning this fall, student organizations will havemore of an incentive to volunteer with a 41 percent increase in payment to organizations who participate with rollover funds from 2010-2011.

“Increasing money that we can pay to student organizations will hopefully alleviate the demand for volunteers,” Berlinberg said.

“The increase will serve as a huge fundraising tool for organizations and will hopefully help us get the numbers of volunteers needed,” he said.

As an added benefit, any student who volunteers for RamRide will receive a free T-shirt.
According to ASCSU Public Relations Coordinator Danielle McConnell, RamRide is an essential program to the Fort Collins community and this year has the ability to be better than ever.

“There are so many great ideas surfacing this summer,” she said.

Since Oct. 24, 2008, RamRide has provided 138,031 rides to the CSU community and last year alone provided 22,668 students with a safe ride home.

RamRide has been a successful program in the past, but this year we are looking to fine tune all the details to have the most successful yet, said the RamRide Director, Allison McVey.

“Being the former director, Eric really cares about this program and he’s making it the best it can be,” she said.

Originally modeled after Texas A&M University’s CARPOOL program, RamRide is now the second largest college safe ride program in the nation, Berlinberg said.

“RamRide is such a visible program at CSU and it plays a key role in keeping students safe,” he said. “In the past it hasn’t gotten the attention or resources necessary, but the program finally has the leadership to succeed.”

Additional changes are being made to RamRide, including a staff that has doubled in size, improved customer service, increased educational marketing geared towards students and more efficiency in creating designated drop offs beyond Old Town Square, Berlinberg explained.

Staff writer Allison Knaus can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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