RamRide nears 50,000th mark

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Apr 152007
 
Authors: Valerie Hisam

On its last night of operation for the semester, RamRide leaders expect the program to give out its 50,000th ride.

On Friday night, the campus’ safe-ride program that provides free late-night rides in an effort to curb drunk driving held an open house to educate the community about RamRide and plan for the future.

Holli Kinkel, RamRide director, said the 50,000th ride will be a big accomplishment for a program that started out so small and is now considered the second most successful program of its kind in the country.

“My goal was to thrive and not just survive,” said Kinkel, 21, a junior political science major, at the open house in the Transit Center.

Having modeled the program after Texas A&M’s program CARPOOL, RamRide is working to surpass its model by hitting the milestone quicker.

It took Texas A&M a little more than five years to reach this mark and RamRide only 3 1/2 years, Kinkel said.

“The open house was a chance for us to show off the important part we play in the community that makes us successful,” said Mark Settle, 21, RamRide associate director and senior economics and political science major. “It’s just an incredible program.”

Along with the RamRide staff, students, ASCSU members, volunteers and sponsors came out to support the program and checked out the inner workings of the program as it started taking calls and giving rides at about 10 p.m.

“It is so neat that the students got together to do this,” said Tina Diehl, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car area manager. “I’m sure they got told ‘no’ from 50 different people, and yet here they are.”

Rob Wright, Enterprise corporate account manager Rob Wright, said the partnership between RamRide and Enterprise “is just a good thing for the community.”

“When I went to school, we didn’t have a program like RamRide,” said Kyle Gentile, the Fort Collins Enterprise manager. “It’s a good way to look out for each other.”

All of the RamRide workers and volunteers agree that the program is great, especially since it is all based around the students.

On Friday night, CSU lacrosse team members were volunteered for RamRide.

Kinkel said the response from the community and students has been supportive, partly due to the lack of other available and cheap services for students to use.

Staff writer Valerie Hisam can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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