Sep 052002
 
Authors: Zac Wiggy

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,17,380 people were killed last year in alcohol-related crashes. Last year, 109 students were arrested on CSU’s campus for drinking and driving.

The Associated Students of CSU is aiming to do its part to eliminate drunk driving in Fort Collins through two programs that provide alternatives to driving while intoxicated, said Brady Wicken, the director of marketing at ASCSU.

The Smartride program is intended to encourage the use of designated drivers in Fort Collins. Establishments that participate in Smartride offer free non-alcoholic beverages and free or discounted food for designated drivers.

“It’s a pretty sweet deal,” Wicken said.

For example, at The Crown Pub, a designated driver can receive free soda for the evening and a coupon for free fish and chips on his next visit.

“If everybody would just take a little responsibility for themselves and their friends, we’d all be a lot safer,” said Jeff Sword, the co-owner of The Crown Pub. “We participate in this program because, the more options, the better.”

Twenty-three businesses participate in Smartride, including Coopersmith’s and Ciao Vino.

Smartride is funded by the participating establishments and Reduce Intoxicated Driving, which is sponsored by Poudre Valley Health Systems. ASCSU provides some man-hours to the program.

Transfort’s Nightride is another option for students visiting Old Town. Students can catch Nightride every hour at the Old Town stop, and buses run until 2:45 a.m. Nightride is free to all CSU students.

This program has been available for several years, but it has not been heavily used, Wicken said. Therefore ASCSU, in collaboration with students, tavern owners, Fort Collins Police Services, and Transfort, is seeking to improve the route and time schedule of Nightride.

Wicken is heading a group of students who will go down to Old Town Fort Collins and survey students about what they would like to see from the buses.

“We’re using (the surveys) to redesign the bus route,” Wicken said. “It’s not being used, so we’re going to hopefully have it redesigned by January of 2003.”

Changes could include a redesigned route that went further west of campus to the Ram’s Village area. Wicken said the bus would also have a shorter route so it would come by more often.

Brendan Burns, director of Student Activities for ASCSU, urged students to make use of Nightride and Smartride, saying, “The safety of students is our number one concern.”

Nightride is Transfort route 63. It departs from Old Town Square at five minutes after the hour from 7:05 p.m. to 2:05 a.m, and arrives at the CSU Transit Center at twelve and forty-five past the hour. Students need only present an activity card to board the bus.

For more information on the route and stop times of Nightride, as well as other Transfort routes, visit www.fcgov.com/transfort.

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