Safe Ride program changes
Students calling for a ride home late at night will now hear one of their peers voices on the other end of the line.
Safe Ride, a service that gives students, faculty and staff a free ride home after dark, is now entirely student run. Lt. John Kabala said the main reason for this change is to relieve pressure on the already overwhelmed Public Safety dispatchers and create student jobs.
“To have students dispatch allows Public Safety dispatchers to pay more attention to surveillance cameras and monitoring instead of constantly having to answer phones,” Kabala said.
Kabala said on weekends Public Safety receives anywhere from 10 to 40 calls per night from students and faculty members requesting a safe ride.
Safe Ride dispatcher and sophomore chemistry major, Jenny Magana, said she is excited that Safe Ride is now solely a student responsibility.
“It reflects well on the school that we are trying to keep our students safe,” Magana said.
Safe Ride was created several years ago and is sometimes used by intoxicated students who are unable to drive themselves home, Kabala said.
Matt Congel, a sophomore computer information systems major, used Safe Ride after having too much to drink at a party a few blocks from campus last year.
“I don’t remember it very clearly. There was a van,” Congel said. “It was one of the best decisions I could have made in that situation.”
Congel thinks it will be more comfortable for students not having to deal directly with Public Safety officers when calling for a ride home.
“I was glad it was a student picking me up and not an adult,” he said of his experience last year. “It would be a little more stressful because I’d want to cover up if I was drunk.”
Tiffany Tran, a junior business major, said she has never used Safe Ride because she doesn’t want to be a burden on Public Safety.
“I’m sure Public Safety has better things to do than pick up drunk students,” Tran said.
The service extends north to Katella Ave., south to Almond Street, east to Tustin Ave. and west to Batavia.
Editor-in-Chief Hannah Fry contributed to this report.
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