Apr 072011
Authors: Chadwick Bowman

Imagine this weekend after you jam at FoCoMX and my boy Sean Kennedy’s show, you could get home by hopping on a bus for free –– or in a RamRide car stationed at Old Town square.

Innovative plans stemming from the Associated Students of CSU campaign platforms have new and safe transportation ideas for those bar hoppers in Old Town.

ASCSU candidates Chase Eckerdt and Justin Safady, who obtained 19 percent of the vote, planned on forming a partnership with Transfort –– the busing system in Fort Collins –– and implementing a late night, early morning bus route to get students home from the bars.

On the other hand, ASCSU President-elect Eric Berlinberg and Vice president-elect Rachel Roberson stumped on the plan to station a fleet of RamRide vehicles in Old Town to safely deposit the drunkards home.

According to Eckerdt and Safady in a meeting with the Collegian Editorial Board, their pragmatic plan had already been financed into next year’s purposed budget, though some of the intricacies of the plan had yet to be worked out.

The plan had buses running in intervals of about 30 to 45 minutes, making stops at locations north, west, south and east of campus before returning to Old Town to make another pick-up.

The concept of busing students out of Old Town is an intuitive idea for three reasons.

One, it is safe –– safe for all students who would risk walking drunk and long-distances home and those too cheap to pay for a cab.

I call this activity bar-venturing –– most of us have done it. In my personal experience, it is during the bar-venture when unfortunately, I find trouble –– sorry Mom, I know … I reflect poorly on you.

Two, it would alleviate much of the stressors on RamRide and reduce the exhausting wait times if RamRide could focus on other drunken parts of the city.

I have always been a strong supporter of RamRide and believe they do an amazing job with the program. But I also believe that no matter what resources we pour into it, they will always be out numbered by intoxicants.

Finally, a busing program will escort people out of Old Town when the night is done, maintaining the peace. I live in Old Town and I see it every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. People leave the bars, have nowhere to go and simply stroll around town while they wait for a taxi, RamRide, a friend, whatever.

Both Berlinberg and Roberson agree that such a program is a decent idea and one that can be explored further, but Berlinberg is also quick to point out the issues of a busing system, such as security, insurance, clean-up (puke) and the physical limits to how many bodies you can move in a night.

Thus Berlinberg’s plan –– which is modeled after Texas A&M’s CARPOOL –– would have a RamRide headquarters posted in Old Town, transporting drunks on a first come, first served basis.

Berlinberg, a former director of RamRide, said, “The majority of students who utilize RamRide are picked up at the Old Town pick-up on College (Avenue) and Mountain (Avenue).”

Eric and Rachel have said that they will look into busing possibilities when their administration moves into office but have campaigned on new ways to run the existing RamRide program more intuitively. I believe that a partnership with Transfort is a good compliment to RamRide and is always a safe alternative to driving and walking, no matter the wait times.

Editorial Editor Chadwick Bowman is a senior journalism and sociology major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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