The Safe Rides program has two new Chrysler Town & Country vans for usage, courtesy of the Central Michigan University Police Department.
The new vehicles, unveiled on May 5, are replacing high mileage service vehicles. CMU Lt. Cameron Wassman, who oversees the Safe Rides program, said the larger capacity vehicles will also be able to transport more passengers at one time than previously possible.
“The university will also notice a new look, as we have updated our Safe Rides vehicles graphics to reflect a bright, bold graphic,” Wassman said.
The new vehicles cost about $40,000, Wassman said. According to a release from Capt. Fred Harris, they were purchased funds collected from a number of sources, including Provost Gary Shapiro, Dean of Students Tony Voisin and Associate Vice President of Residences & Auxiliary Services John Fisher. Funds also came from the Parent Fund Contributions, Tom Trionfi, director of Contracting/Purchasing/Health Services, and Shaun Holtgreive, associate director of Residence Life.
Wassman reported Safe Rides provided more than 15,000 escorts to students last year. The program, started in 2004, aims to provide students with a free service allowing them to safely travel at night between on-campus locations.
According to the Safe Rides web page, the service operates between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The service is provided when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters.
“We recognize there is safety in numbers, so three or more persons traveling to the same destination typically do not qualify for an escort,” Wassman said. “Our efforts are primarily aimed at students walking along at night from parking areas, a late night library visit or returning to campus from work.”
Students should note that the Safe Rides phone number remains the same: 774-HELP (4357).