Editorial: Keeping SafeRide safe

As one of the most valuable student services on campus, SafeRide not only helps students avoid having to trek down Sheridan Roadd. but also directly promotes students’ safety and security by providing door-to-door service. The university should go to great lengths to keep SafeRide safe for the students who use it as well as for the student drivers who make the service possible (“One driver per SafeRide car in cuts,” Jan. 27).

Due to difficult economic circumstances, Northwestern administrators were unable to provide student groups and campus services with the surplus they had come to expect. SafeRide was one of the services that was left without the surplus funds it had received in the past. At a $45,000 deficit, SafeRide was forced to cut down the number of drivers per car from two to one – in the past, cars had held an average of 1.4 drivers. Now, only one SafeRide driver will be in the car, idling on Ridge Ave. as they wait for their next pickup.

The issue in the matter comes down to safety. In effect, the presence of two student drivers means a sense of security while at the wheel of a SafeRide Prius in the early hours of the morning.

Something needs to be changed within SafeRide’s budget or administration in order to ensure the safety of both the students who utilize the service and its employees. Their initial budget should not count on a bonus, or at least one of the magnitude it has received in the past. Whether it means cutting back operating hours or limiting the number of cars on the road, SafeRide can make better administrative decisions regarding its budget to counteract the lack of funds, rather than leaving lone drivers to fend for themselves.

In addition, it seems as if the University regards SafeRide as an afterthought rather than an essential student service. Both NU and SafeRide administrators need to work together so drivers’ safety doesn’t have to be compromised in order to provide a service in which safety is the objective.