Long-Neglected Safe Rides Deserves Council Attention

The year-ending scene during A.S. Council budget caucuses is unsurprisingly similar to those of years past; councilmembers jockey over financing A.S. Safe Rides, and mud flies over who’s at fault for the underutilization of what should be a vital service.

Truth be told, everyone’s at fault. The council has consistently fumbled publicity for the inherently useful service since it was founded years ago under the “”Triton Taxi”” title. And students have been lazy – when a simplistic stamp-recording system was installed, usage plummeted.

The service shuttles students, presumably too intoxicated to transport themselves, from certain locations to their homes. But since it’s inception, both the scope and funding of the service have been continuously undercut (the retrieval routes even originally stretched to Tijuana, Mexico).

This year, the issue is again on the table. A polarized council is again composed of two camps: one looking to let go of a floundering service, and one hoping to revive an ignored service. And pressure is piling on the latter group – the most recent budget move sees $5,000 transferred from Safe Rides to the council-sponsored all-campus dance.

The service’s struggles are undeniable, but so is its usefulness. One student saved from a drunk driving accident far outweighs the fun of an all-campus dance. The council’s philosophy of publicity needs an overhaul. But this service is no red-headed stepchild, and deserves its due attention.