SA Safe Ride Program back for second year

Erik Ebsen

Erik Ebsen

Students looking to go downtown in the evenings don’t have to find a ride or drive themselves. The Students’ Association’s Safe Ride Home shuttle, in conjunction with Brookings Area Transit Authority, will become a full-time service this year, starting tentatively Sept. 14. The Safe Ride Home shuttle debuted last spring as a pilot program and was considered “a very huge success,” said BATA’s director of transportation, Brenda Schweitzer. Two busses will run separate routes every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Rides are free with an SDSU student ID card and $5 for all other riders.

The shuttles begin at the downtown 72-hour parking lot west of Main Avenue. They begin at 10 p.m. and run every 25 minutes. The last departure is 2:25 a.m. Shuttle routes are tailored towards heavy student-populated areas in town, says SA President Alex Halbach. Shuttle routes and times were coordinated by the SA.

Stops include the Campus View apartments north of Wal-Mart (nicknamed “the blues”); residence halls Berg, Bailey, Young and Binnewies; and Prairie Lanes bowling alley. The bus will also stop near the Old Sanctuary building on Medary Avenue, the Village Square apartments and the Cedar Apartments by 5th Avenue South.

The east route drives past Hy-Vee as well. Adding a second shuttle allows Safe Ride to cover a bigger area with less wait, said Halbach. Last year, one bus ran two 20-minute routes, “so really a 40-minute route,” he said. No food or drink is allowed on the BATA shuttles, including alcohol. No smoking either. Each bus will include a monitor that is a volunteer SDSU student. The monitors are there as peacekeepers, Schweitzer said. Safety and security training is required for the job. Monitors also document the amount of riders during the night. But age is not a concern; they do not ask for anything other than a student ID card. “We’re not checking IDs. That’s not the purpose,” Schweitzer said.

#1.884373:3326920748.jpg:map06A.jpg:New safe ride routes.: