The Department of Public Safety has purchased a brand new Ford Transit passenger van that it promised will carry more SafeRide passengers in more comfort than ever before.
While the previous SafeRide van was only able to seat seven passengers, including the driver on duty, the new van–which cost $31,000–can carry 15 passengers, including the driver.
SafeRide, the evening shuttle service running between 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday, provides transportation to locations that are not on the SHUFLY route. Though the SafeRide doesn’t stop at SHUFLY stops, students can request transportation through SafeRide if they are traveling off the SHUFLY route but within the SafeRide zone. The Department of Public Safety accepts SafeRide requests when a student is travelling from a SHUFLY route location to a SafeRide zone location and vice versa. With the addition of the new passenger van and the SafeRide transportation mobile application, TapRide, releasing on Sept. 28, students are more inclined to utilize the service.
“The van has individual bucket seats which makes the ride more enjoyable, and considerably more room,” said Michael Lamb, marketing major. “I use SafeRide once a week and I am much more inclined
to use the service with the addition of the new van.”
Patrick Linfante, assistant vice president of the Department of Public Safety said more students are requesting SafeRide trips. “So far this semester we have experienced a 19 percent increase in ridership which we have attributed to the increase in student enrollment,” he said.
Linfante continued: “The new Ford Transit van allows us to transport more people at any given time. It is also larger and much more comfortable. Additionally, students can stand up inside of the van making it easier for them to enter and exit the van.”
The total number of students using SafeRide varies depending on the day of the week. On Sunday through Wednesday, there are about 100-125 passengers per night. That number jumps to 350 to 400 riders per night on Thursday through Saturday.
Kristin Youngberg, an elementary and special education major, said “I use the van a few times per week. The availability of the (TapRide) app to request a ride will be really helpful in addition to the new van.”
For more information on how to request a SafeRide and to see the SafeRide zone, visit www.shu.edu/office/public-safety/ safe-ride.cfm
Zachariah Boyer can be reached at email@example.com