In the wake of vast changes over summer, RamRide revved up its engines this weekend with its first time operating since the end of the May semester. The safe ride program transported more than 1,000 students with the help of more cars and a larger staff.
Associated Students of CSU President Eric Berlinberg said he has high hopes for RamRideâ€™s eighth year transporting students.
â€œThis is the first year weâ€™ve had a director of the department over the summer and during the first weekend of school,â€ Berlinberg said.
According to Allison McVey, director of RamRide, the first weekend of operation went as smoothly as Berlinberg expected.
â€œIt went really well,â€ McVey said.
One of the biggest changes made to RamRide this year is the number of cars used. Last year they had six cars operating on Thursday nights and 15 cars on Friday and Saturday nights. This year they are using nine cars on Thursdays and 19 cars on both Fridays and Saturdays.
â€œMore vehicles leads to decreased wait times,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œBut this also means that we need more volunteers to operate these additional cars.â€
RamRide is implementing a new payment structure for student organizations to raise the incentive for volunteers. This year, when a group volunteers for RamRide they will receive money for their organization, which will increase both the second and third time they volunteer. RamRide also gives more money to those organizations that volunteer on Thursdays, due to the lower turnout on those nights.
Improving customer service is another of RamRideâ€™s goals.
â€œStudents are our customers,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œThey are paying for it so we need to make sure they receive good customer service.â€
RamRide is also working on the dispatch system to make it more fuel-efficient. They are trying out a semi-fixed route by devoting a certain number of cars strictly to dropping off and picking up in Old Town.
â€œIt helps more people than just students, it also helps the community,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œIt gets people out of Old Town, which is a huge problem with businesses and police forces.â€
The Old Town route was tried out for the first time on Saturday night.
â€œWe had a couple of cars that consistently went to Old Town and I think it was a lot more efficient,â€ McVey said.
Increasing partnerships within the community is also important to RamRide this year. These partnerships include Responsible Alcohol Retailers (RAR), CSUPD and the Fort Collins Police Department.
RamRide began these partnership efforts this past summer.
â€œWe have a great relationship with CSUPD and Fort Collins Police,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œAnd we are continuing to build that relationship.â€
The ultimate goal of RamRide is to keep people safe.
â€œMarketing education is a new part of the RamRide umbrella,â€ Berlinberg said. RamRide is looking at partnering with the CSU Health Network to help educate students about making safe choices.
Sophomore Global Tourism major Sydney Jackson-Clockston used RamRide twice during its opening weekend and was impressed by its service.
â€œItâ€™s definitely helpful for students whether they are under the influence or not,â€ said Jackson-Clockston. â€œNo one should walk home alone late at night.â€
Collegian writer Emily Horn can be reached at email@example.com.
RamRide phone number
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number of students driven since 2003
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More than 1,000
number of students driven this weekend