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Wednesday, Oct. 4
The Indiana Daily Student


Safety Escort might pick up SafeRide

Campus driving service Safety Escort might soon incorporate some of SafeRide’s most popular features.

IU Student Association proposed that Safety Escort include later hours of operation, picking up drunken students and driving to off-campus

The recommendations were based on ridership data from SafeRide, IUSA’s pilot program that began in summer 2013 and ended last weekend.

Director of IU Parking Operations Doug Porter approved the policy changes, but they still need to be approved by the dean of students and the provost to be implemented

IUSA President Jose Mitjavila said Safety Escort responded well to the proposed changes.

“When Safety Escort received the SafeRide proposal, I think they had open minds and ears,” Mitjavila said.

Students used SafeRide most frequently between midnight and 2 a.m., according to the SafeRide data and the 2013 VOICE Report.

Though this was the most popular time for students to call for a ride, Safety Escort currently does not operate during this two-hour window.

According to the proposal, 23 percent of students who used SafeRide were under the influence of alcohol.

But more importantly, the proposal said drivers cited no operational complications as a result of these intoxicated passengers.  

IUSA proposed Safety Escort pick up intoxicated students as a result of these findings.

“To me, the most surprising results of the data were that the majority of students who utilized SafeRide were not intoxicated and were not requesting rides from bars,” Mitjavila said.

Director of Safety Escort Kelsey Timmer said Safety Escort traditionally hasn’t picked up drunken students because the service is reserved for academic purposes.

Eighty percent of students were not on campus at the time they requested transportation, according to the SafeRide data. Because the majority of students needed this service when they were off-campus, IUSA recommended that Safety Escort expand their geographic area.

Though Safety Escort will drive off campus, either the drop-off or pick-up location must be a building on campus.

Safety Escort is currently trying to figure out the logistics, feasibility and timeline of implementing the proposal, Timmer said. She said Safety Escort will most likely extend weekend hours, but they are still working out the details of other proposed changes.

She said Safety Escort hopes to incorporate some version of the proposed changes by the beginning of this fall semester.

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