Student Life has launched a new program designed to provide safe transportation for students to supplement the shuttle service. Safe Ride is a ride-sharing service provided to students as a safe and free alternative to walking alone after dark. Safe Ride operates from 6:45 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week with the exception of holidays, academic breaks, and inclement weather.
“We have worked diligently to make navigating campus and Troy safe for our community members,” said Travis Apgar, assistant vice president for student life and dean of students. “The Safe Ride program adds an additional dimension to the multilayered security approach complementing the extended Shuttle Bus Service, the Public Safety escort service, and the dedicated Troy Police Department patrols of the campus and downtown areas. I couldn’t be more pleased that Safe Ride is off and running, with students already taking advantage of the service. We look forward to hearing feedback and input from students as they experience Safe Ride.”
Similar programs are run at colleges and universities across the country. Students often spend time studying late into the night or go out with their friends and when they’re ready to go home, they may not want to walk in the dark. Not all residences are on the shuttle line and this program offers late-night rides seven days a week.
Safe Ride began in response to the need to provide students more options to get home safely at night. A group of students met with President Jackson to share their concerns, and she tasked various campus constituents to create an expanded program that would mitigate risk for Rensselaer students.
A driver with Safe Ride said she is “excited to protect the safety of RPI students.” Other students said they are “glad the program is in place because it’s a great option to support late-night studying especially if it’s cold, snowy, or the shuttle isn’t running.”
Safe Ride is run out of the Off-Campus Commons and is staffed by 23 students and the associate dean of Off-Campus Commons. The program has a dispatcher staffing the phone and computer and two students who ride and drive in each of the two Honda Fit electric cars.
“The Safe Ride team is energetic and committed to building relationships and enhancing the Rensselaer community through this program,” said Kelly Thibault, associate dean of the Off-Campus Commons. “One staff member even shared that prior to training, ‘no one on the team was close before we met, but now we have new friends!’ While the program is fully staffed, we are always accepting applications.”
The two Honda Fit cars, donated by American Honda Motor Co. Inc., are emblazoned with “Safe Ride” graphics, making them easy to identify. This program focuses solely on providing safe rides to students who are traveling to campus or to their homes. To find out more information and how to request a ride, visit saferide.rpi.edu.