SGA announces new safe ride program to replace Provide-A-Ride

Taylor Harrison

A safe ride program has been finalized for the fall semester — a service that was not offered this past school year.

SGA president-elect Cory Dodds said that while there will naturally be small details that change regarding the service, the deal has been finalized.

“The Student Government Association will be partnering with Parking and Transportation to implement a safe ride program for the fall,” Dodds said.

SGA’s half of the program will cost $15,000 for the entire school year, the same amount it paid for previous program Provide-A-Ride.

Provide-A-Ride was a partnership between SGA and Parking Services that provided rides to students who were unable to drive, with both parties splitting the $30,000 contract evenly. Franklin Taxi, the original provider, is no longer affiliated with WKU and the contract was terminated at the start of the school year.

Dodds said that the new program will be a fixed route service using WKU shuttles.

In November, Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking Services, proposed that her department provide the service without contracting out to a third party.

Dodds started meeting with Tougas before the SGA elections. He said that Tougas and others from Parking Services have been very accommodating and that both parties see this as a valuable partnership.

“Basically, I see the safe ride service as a need that needs to be addressed on campus and it should be a service that the student government should take an active role in providing for students,” Dodds said, “and whenever I didn’t really see much work getting done on this, I thought that maybe my perspective would help refresh everybody involved so that we could work towards a program that would benefit everybody.”

The buses will stop at 16 total locations and will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In the current proposed route, Dodds said the service will stop at various apartments that typically house students.

It will make a route around the Overtime and Campus Pointe area and College Suites, go through campus, down fraternity and sorority row on Chestnut Street and then go around the square downtown in a loop.

Because there will be no outside service used to transport students, Dodds said the program will be completely internal.

Tougas confirmed that SGA and her office have come to an agreement to move forward with bringing the service back in the fall.

“I think we both have a common interest in providing a service that the students are interested in having,” Tougas said.

Tougas also said the biggest change to the service is that it will be a fixed route rather than an on-demand service.

Dodds said an official contract hasn’t been signed, but since it is an internal partnership, he does not think that will be necessary.