After 4-year wait, ASMSU finally launching pilot Safe Ride program
After a long time in the making, the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU’s Safe Ride Initiative might finally see the light of day in the form of a pilot program.
The Safe Ride Initiative was first introduced by the 49th session of ASMSU and has since gone through many changes. The initiative is finally reaching the General Assembly in the 53rd session of ASMSU after initiative frontman and Vice President for Finance and Operations Jason Barnett gave a presentation on what the pilot program would look like.
After so much time being in the works, seconder of the Safe Ride bill Joshua Slivensky encouraged the finance committee to pass the bill by saying, “I think this deserves to see the light of day in GA.”
While the pilot program is not finalized, a program is outlined and will be discussed by the General Assembly at its next meeting.
The initiative is meant to serve as a way for students to get home safely during late nights, when they might not have reliable ride home and buses have stopped running.
The mission statement of Safe Ride states, “The ASMSU Safe Ride program facilitates safe and reliable transportation options HOME within program boundaries for any undergraduate student at Michigan State University. These rides are free, convenient, and non-judgmental, to promote a culture of health and safety at Michigan State University.”
The Safe Ride program would not be the first of its kind, in fact quite the opposite. All other Big Ten schools already have active programs.
This is stated in Bill 53-54, the bill that was passed to bring the Safe Ride discussion to the General Assembly, “Michigan State University is the only school in the Big 10 conference not to operate a Safe Ride service.”
The plan at this point is to set up a pilot program which will run from Sunday to Wednesday from 10pm-3am.
Barnett explained that the only plan to operate on those days for the pilot program because they are not sure yet how the program would function on the busier days of the weekend.
“We decided not to do Thursday, Friday, Saturday just to see what demand is,” Barnett said. “Obviously those three days are going to be a little bit more heavy than Sunday to Wednesday. Just when we’re starting out, it makes sense to start it that way.”
Following the initial trial run of the system, the goal is to set up a full-fledged Safe Ride program that would run from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day of the week.
Safe Ride would cover the areas ASMSU found to be the most populated by MSU students.
If the initiative were to make it through the General Assembly, the pilot program is set to begin on March 20, coincidentally the same week of ASMSU’s It’s On Us week, Barnett said.
The ASMSU General Assembly meets this coming Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss the future of the Safe Ride Initiative.