Sep 012004
 
Authors: Jared McCabe

Forget taxi rides and half-drunken friends for a lift home.

Friday marked the start of RamRide’s first weekend back in operation.

As a volunteer transportation system, RamRide offers rides home for students on weekends, regardless of the students’ reason. RamRide’s phone lines are open up from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Enterprise Rentals, which gives half-off rates on its rental cars, and Sprint, which donates cell phones, sponsor RamRide.

RamRide averages 227 rides a night, which equals roughly 82 carloads of people. So far, total riders have exceeded 9,000 since its inception last year. It also has added three cars this semester, thanks to an initial donation from First National Bank and a matching donation from CSU’s vice president of student affairs office parents’ fund. There are now 13 cars on duty each night.

“Our official mission is that we provide safe, nonjudgmental rides home to members of the CSU and Fort Collins community. We don’t care why you receive a ride home, just that you arrive home safe,” said Brian Hardouin, a senior electrical engineering major and director of RamRide operations for the Associated Students of CSU.

Though RamRide provides a safe ride home, it is not a taxi service.

“The official policy of RamRide is not to give rides to parties,” Hardouin said.

When patrons call 491-3333, a dispatcher forwards information to the necessary vehicle.

“RamRide is an excellent concept. When you are intoxicated and in no shape to drive, RamRide is the way to go,” said Greg Whalen, a Front Range Community College student who has used the program. “It is a lot better than getting a free ride to jail. The only problem is that they are overextended and undermanned. What needs to be done is more volunteers need to be found to help run it.”

Whalen suggests an incentive for volunteers.

“The people who use (RamRide) could maybe tip a little bit so that more people will volunteer,” Whalen said. “That way we can keep all the drunk drivers off the streets.”

As someone who has both used the program and volunteered for it, Nic Redavid, a junior open-option major and associate director of public relations for ASCSU, said he enjoys volunteering for RamRide.

“Volunteering is actually a lot of fun and I enjoy it,” Redavid said. “I have used the service, so I feel that it is only right to volunteer and give back.”

He said most people using the service are very polite, although they are often intoxicated, which can lead to some amusing situations.

“Being that Friday was our first night running since school started we did have some very intoxicated individuals,” he said. “One person wouldn’t leave the vehicle until the driver and I both autographed his receipt. Then he wouldn’t move out of the way until we both gave him a hug. It was humorous.”

For a Ride call 970-491-3333 Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Want to volunteer?

A normal shift is 9 PM to 3:30 AM

Call 970-491-5931 weekdays during normal office hours

Electronic applications available at: www.ramride.colostate.edu

Training session September second at six PM in Clark 100 A. Free pizza and pop will be provided.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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