Bars, off-campus residences top Provide-A-Ride pickups

Mike Stunson

The majority of the students who used Provide-A-Ride last year were getting picked up from bars and off-campus residences, according to the service’s 2010 report.

Provide-A-Ride, which is operated by Franklin Taxi, is a free shuttle service students can use for transportation around Bowling Green at night. The service is available from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The service is sponsored by the Student Government Association and Parking and Transportation Services.

It’s designed to give students who may be partying or stranded somewhere a safe, reliable ride home, SGA President Colton Jessie said.

During the last school year, more than 9,200 passengers used Provide-A-Ride, according to the review. About 40 percent of passengers were picked up from bars, and 46 percent were picked up at an off-campus residence.

There is no Provide-A-Ride data available for the 2008-2009 school year, Transportation Analyst Dennis Cain said.

A fire at the Yellow Cab Company building, the company that used to operate Provide-a-Ride, destroyed handwritten logs, he said.

But during 2007-2008, more than 10,300 people used Provide-A-Ride, up 300 from the year before.

SGA Executive Vice President Kendrick Bryan said reducing the number of students who drive under the influence should be the primary focus of any college community.

Jessie said a lot of the users of Provide-A-Ride hear about it from word of mouth, but this year they are stepping up their advertising.

He said posters have just been made to hang up throughout campus about the service, and keychains with the Provide-A-Ride phone number have been passed out.

“It is amazing how well it has done without the massive advertising,” Jessie said. “It spreads like wild fire.”

Bryan said advertising has been done on Facebook and Twitter, and they’ve also e-mailed hall directors, so they can inform students in dorms.

Provide-A-Ride costs about $30,000 to operate every year, Jessie said. Parking and Transportation and SGA each contribute $15,000.

Jessie said that since he has been on SGA, no one has thought about ending the service.

“It is one of the best things we do as an organization,” he said. “If 10,000 people use it yearly, then we are doing a huge service.”

Students can reach Provide-a-Ride by calling (270) 776-7777.