Safe Ride to discontinue bus service on Thursdays

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association will be terminating its Safe Ride service on Thursdays, meaning the buses will now only run on Fridays and Saturdays.

Safe Ride, also known as the Purple Line, previously ran Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. However, low ridership on Thursdays has led the SGA to cease offering the service on that day. Safe Ride will continue to run normally on Fridays and Saturdays until the SGA can find a more successful replacement service.

“We are not going to discontinue the service entirely without a replacement,” SGA President Jay Todd Richey said. He later continued, “If we repeal it — meaning discontinue — we will replace it with something, but we’re going to make sure we have something for you guys.”

Since the beginning of the spring semester, Safe Ride has averaged one rider per hour on Thursdays, compared to 20 riders per hour on Saturdays. In addition, total ridership has dropped from about 5,000 in Fall 2015 to almost 1,500 in Fall 2016. Richey believes this large drop in ridership is likely due to ride services such as Uber becoming available in Bowling Green.

The SGA will be reimbursed for the money saved by discontinuing Thursday service and will be working on providing ride service alternatives for Safe Ride in the near future.

The Senate also approved one new senator, Sara Saeed, at Tuesday’s meeting. Saeed is a senior at the Gatton Academy, meaning she will be the only senator to directly represent Gatton students. Normally, a Gatton Academy senator is elected to the SGA during the fall semester, but this year one was not.

“I felt it was important there was a Gatton student to bridge that gap and advocate for and represent the Academy,” Saeed said.

Two committee chairs were also appointed during the meeting. Hizareth Lineras will be the new chair of the SAVES (Standing Against Violence and for Ending Self-harm) committee, and Stephen Mayer will be the new chair of the Academic Affairs committee. Lineras, a psychology major, wants to use her position to help those with mental illnesses.

“I’m very passionate about helping raise awareness about mental illness and also eliminating the stigma that’s there,” Lineras said.

Lineras hopes to use the SAVES committee to give Greek organizations presentations on rape culture and sexual assault, to organize mental health awareness events, and to partner with Hope Harbor and the National Institute of Mental Health.

On Monday, SGA members plan to attend the KY Rally for Higher Education at the Kentucky State Capitol. The rally, which will feature attendees from Kentucky’s public universities and special guest speakers, aims to show students’ support for affordable post-secondary education. Specifically, the rally will support allocating lottery funds toward need-based scholarships, as they have been in the past.

The next SGA meeting will be Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Downing Student Union.

Reporter Jamie Williams can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].