Safe Ride rolls out new full-week schedule
“Safe Ride”, The Associated Students of Michigan State University, ASMSU's, judgment-free, after-dark driving service, launched its full-week schedule on Sept. 5 following the success of last year’s three-day-a-week pilot program.
ASMSU partnered with local transportation service, Dean Transportation, to provide two vans Monday through Wednesday and three vans Thursday through Saturday, as well as drivers for “Safe Ride.” The service can be accessed through the TransLoc Rider app from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Six student dispatchers are in charge of fielding ride requests from university students over the telephone and through TransLoc Rider.
ASMSU president Lorenzo Santavicca said he has heard positive reviews regarding the service’s recent performance.
“Early feedback from what I’m hearing is great,” Santavicca said. “Students are happy that they’re able to request a ride, and they’re very happy to know it’s seven days a week now.”
Dan Iancio is serving as ASMSU’s vice president for finance and operations this year, which puts him in charge of the Safe Ride program. He believes the first few days of the service this semester have passed with ease.
“So far there haven’t been any difficulties for the most part,” Iancio said. “We’ve just got to get into the swing of things. We’re trying to ramp up our marketing, trying to get the word out there.”
Iancio says the service provided about fifteen rides in the first two days of availability this semester.
“We’re expecting a pretty big turnout this weekend,” Iancio said. “We expect to be very, very busy considering that not a lot of students have exams or anything like that to study for, things like that. It’s been pretty slow so far, but we definitely expect it to pick up on the weekend. As word of mouth gets around, more and more people will start using it.”
This is Iancio’s first year as the vice president of finance and operations, but he has been a member of ASMSU since his freshman year, when he served on the Freshman Class Council. Prior to this position, he served as a Student Allocations Board financial manager.
“I have full faith and confidence in Dan and his leadership to make this a reality again this year,” Santavicca said, “I think Dan brings a great sense of enthusiasm and energy to make it happen.”
Last year, former Vice President of Finance and Operations Jason Barnett worked to help officially start Safe Ride, which Santavicca says had been in development for about four years.
“Jason Barnett, who initiated it last year, was really what we needed to meet the program and get it off the ground,” Santavicca said. “Sometimes you need different leadership to perfect things and make them better, so I think Dan is going to bring a lot of potential in that regard.”
Santavicca says bringing Safe Ride to fruition was a difficult task for ASMSU to accomplish.
“It was a long time in the making and I finally am proud to say that it’s off the ground officially -- technically last semester, last spring,” Santavicca said. “And we’re here for a full year, seven days a week this year.”