New program offers free rides around campus

A late-night ride home is now just a phone call away.

Student Government (SG) recently launched an on-demand transit program called SafeRide, where students can receive a car ride from Sunday through Thursday between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. simply by making a phone call.

The program will offer students a ride anywhere on campus and to any of the roads surrounding campus including Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Red Road, San Amaro Drive, Campo Sano Avenue and Pisano Avenue.

The program is in its early stages and only one car will be transporting students.  The vehicle will be required to keep a passenger log and will be driven by the same personnel who drive the shuttles.

When the program ends on April 26, the program will be reevaluated based on the logs to determine whether there is enough student demand to add more cars to the programs.

“We expect it to be huge,” SG Press Secretary Mike Piacentino said. “Once students figure out about it, it will be an added convenience on campus.”

Piacentino said the program is intended for students who stay late on campus to study, as well as those who have to carry equipment and projects home.

“Plenty of people get into jams at night that could use the service,” senior Peter Graber said. “Certain majors that carry more than others like music students would need it because they have instruments.”

It will supplement the current emergency blue light phones, which students can use to call the police.

The program was created by University Village Senator Doug Aguililla. He was inspired by a similar program at Florida State University.

“We have had two deaths in the last years of students who were walking around campus,” he said. “Why don’t we have a service like this at UM?”

Aguililla said the program should be useful to at least half of the student body.

“They won’t have to walk through sketchy areas to get home at night,” he said.

Senior Samantha Lang is excited about the new transportation option.

“As a girl and if I’m alone at night, I think I’d use it. It would be useful for all students, especially after 10 p.m.,” Lang said.