Sep 132006
 
Authors: TIFFANY HEIEN The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Briana Scheibel was new to Fort Collins, intoxicated and desperate for a ride home.

So the freshman dialed RamRide, the safe-ride program that provides free late-night rides to CSU students on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“They were like, ‘OK, we’ll be there in two and half hours,'” Scheibel said. “I ended up hitchhiking, which wasn’t the safest option.”

Scheibel had heard about RamRide at freshman orientation.

“They made RamRide sound so reliable,” she said. “Everyone I talked to said to call them.”

Volunteers run the program, and most come from Associated Students of CSU, which administers it.

Holli Kinkel, RamRide director, said the wait time depends on the number of volunteers working.

“Typically we like to keep (wait times) at an hour,” Kinkel said. “The fewer volunteers we have, the longer the wait is.”

The director said RamRide is currently undermanned and is seeking more volunteers to cut down on wait times.

Kinkel also said that as wait times go up so do ride cancellations.

“We get a lot of people yelling at us,” Kinkel said. “It makes me very angry. I’m trying to work my butt off to get people home safely.”

The program is sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car and is provided with five cars on Thursday nights and 13 cars on Fridays and Saturdays.

Each car has two trained RamRide volunteers: a driver and a navigator.

“At this point we rarely get to run 13 (cars),” Kinkel said, “and we still have to pay for them all.”

Kinkel said that when all the cars do run the wait time is only about 40 minutes.

“It’s definitely effective,” Kinkel said. “We gave 14,000 rides last year.”

Sophomore Reiley Altenborg has volunteered twice as a navigator, and thinks RamRide is a “fabulous” program.

“People could be doing anything else and they choose to help out,” Altenborg said.

Volunteers for RamRide are required to watch a training video, have a 2.0 GPA and must be at least 18 years old. Because RamRide’s cars are all rental cars, drivers are required to be at least 21.

“They train us (to deal with situations) from people getting mad to people barfing in the car,” Altenborg said. “It’s pretty basic.”

The average wait time for RamRide is an hour and a half. Although RamRide does not take reservations, Kinkel said most people plan ahead of time to get a ride.

Altenborg has simple advice for those frustrated at the timeliness of RamRide: Wait it out. It’s either that or possibly ruining someone else’s life.

“I think it’s really ridiculous for people who know they’re drunk to get behind the wheel,” he said. “They’re basically behind a two-ton bullet.”

Staff writer Tiffany Heien can be reached at news@collegian.com

________________________________________

Facts:

RamRide started on October 24, 2003.

RamRide has given more than 36,000 rides.

RamRide runs Thursdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

For more information click below stop by the ASCSU office in Room 109 of the Lory Student Center.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.