Oct 062003
 
Authors: Carl McCutchen

It may become a little easier to get around on the weekends with

the implementation of the Associated Students of CSU’s RamRide

program.

The RamRide program, tentatively scheduled to begin Oct. 24,

will provide students and non-students alike a free, safe ride

home.

The program, which is modeled after Texas A&M’s CARPOOL

program, will run on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3

a.m. RamRide will pick up passengers wherever they may be and then

transport them home for no fee. The program will not run on

holidays or during academic breaks including summer.

In order to use RamRide, an individual would need to call the

RamRide center, give a little information and then wait for a ride.

The RamRide center would take the passenger’s name and a way to

identify them, like what color shirt the individual is wearing, or

if they have glasses or a hat. The call center would also take the

passenger’s current location and the desired destination before

dispatching a vehicle. The vehicle would then pick up the passenger

or passengers and drop them off at the requested locations.

The only restriction imposed by RamRide is that one of the

passengers must show a current CSU identification card in order to

ride.

Ben Goldstein, the director of student services for ASCSU, said

that ASCSU is expecting RamRide to provide many rides home in the

upcoming months.

“We anticipate great success for RamRide based on the fact that

Texas A&M’s program has given over 40,000 rides,” he said.

Funding for RamRide will come primarily from donations but will

also receive a little funding from ASCSU. Vehicles for the rides

will be contracted out from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and cell phones

for the cars will be donated by Sprint. ASCSU has also allocated

money to the RamRide program from this year’s budget. Goldstein

also said that ASCSU is seeking sponsorship from the local

breweries.

Volunteers from both CSU and the community will drive the

RamRide vehicles. Both a male and female volunteer will operate

each of the vehicles, so riding “shotgun” will not be an

option.

Goldstein said that ASCSU hopes to be able to have 10 cars

running a night, with a response time of under 30 minutes, but it

depends on how many volunteers they have.

“We are still looking for more volunteers because this program

depends solely on them,” Goldstein said.

Katie Clausen, vice president of ASCSU, expressed a need for

volunteers as well.

“If we don’t have people to drive the cars then they will just

sit in the parking lot,” she said. “We need people.”

Clausen also said that it was just a matter of getting students

to take a couple of nights out of the semester to drive others

around.

Jessica Chavez, a senior political science student and last

year’s ASCSU vice president, said that the idea for RamRide is good

if ASCSU can get it up and running.

“The concept is really good if they can get it off the ground.

It will really benefit students and could possibly decrease DUI’s,”

said Chavez, who was last year’s RamRide chair.

Kyle McCarthy, a junior political science student and a RamRide

volunteer, thinks that the program is a good idea, but it could

also benefit the community as well as CSU students.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for community service and just

a great service to the city as well,” he said, “it is a way for

people to do something positive for the community, that’s why I got

involved.”

Clausen also said that RamRide could also provide safer streets

for the city.

Molly Fair, a senior English major, agreed with the idea that

the streets could be safer, but also that it makes it easier to get

home.

“It’s a great idea because when you are out drinking it’s so

hard to find a taxi or someone sober to get a ride home from,” she

said. “RamRide sounds like a safe way for people who drink to get

home without putting themselves or others in danger.”

 

 

 

 

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