The number of students utilizing SafeRide must continue to increase to avoid the possible shut down of the free busing system.
SafeRide is a free shuttle service available to students and community members for transportation home from local establishments on Thursday through Saturday nights.
Ferris senior healthcare systems administration major and coordinator of SafeRide Yer Xiong said the number of volunteers is decreasing, while the number of riders has increased.
“The number of riders has increased 38 percent this year,” Xiong said. “We want to keep SafeRide going, so if the number of riders starts decreasing, we’re probably going to have to shut down.”
The cost to operate the bus is about $15,000 dollars per year, according to Xiong.
The service is funded by the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services office and Student Affairs with co-sponsors Birkam Health and Counseling Center.
SafeRide has been around since 2000.
“People don’t really hear about it anymore,” Xiong said. “Right now we’re working on a couple promotional things, but they probably won’t happen until next year. We’re just in the process of trying to get it back up.”
Students can earn three hours per night from volunteering.
“I chose to volunteer for SafeRide because it fit with my schedule,” Ferris freshman heavy equipment service engineering major Hayden Gallagher said. “It’s easy and I like the people I volunteer with. It’s also very entertaining.”
Gallagher has been volunteering since Nov. 2013.
“Students need to know that when they ride the bus, everything is confidential,” Xiong said. “It’s not like the police will follow you back home or keep tabs on who rides it. And it’s also not a bus that just takes home drunks. If anyone needs a ride, [SafeRide] will take you home.”
To track the SafeRide bus, visit bigrapids.doublemap.com or download the smartphone app DoubleMap Bus Tracker.