Associated Students, Inc. will announce a new shuttle program today that promises to provide students with a safe ride home on Thursday through Saturday nights.

The pilot program for the new College Shuttle will run from Thursday, May 18, 2006 until June 11, 2006, as will be announced today at 10 a.m. in the University Union, according to a press release from ASI.

ASI President Tylor Middlestadt negotiated the new late-night transportation contract with Beach Cities Cab Co. owner Jeff Goldenberg after the cancellation of Safe Ride on April 19, 2006.

“We want to make it clear to students that this is a privilege,” Middlestadt said of the new program.

Safe Ride was cancelled the weekend of Cal Poly Open House after reports of safety issues caused by intoxicated patrons to drivers and other riders. Until then, Safe Ride offered 8,000 rides home per year Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Throughout the past few weeks, students have relied on designated drivers, San Luis Obispo’s sole taxi company and walking in order to get home from nights out on the town.

Problems with Safe Ride have not deterred Goldenberg from working with Cal Poly on the College Shuttle program.

“I have never had these types of problems before (with Beach Cities Cab Co.),” Goldenberg said. “If drunks don’t stop, we’ll pull over and they’ll go to jail.”

University and community members, including Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Cornel Morton and Mother’s Tavern owner Paul Brown, provided input to Middlestadt before the completion of the program.

Vans will pick Cal Poly students up at shuttle stop locations throughout downtown San Luis Obispo every Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and the service is only offered to students with Cal Poly ID cards for a fee of $4, according to ASI.

College Shuttle will differ from Safe Ride in that the program will have specific pick-up and drop-off points in downtown and residential areas.

“The pilot program will not meet everyone’s needs,” Middlestadt said, but added that the goal is to implement a successful but temporary program for the rest of the year, while continuing negotiations in hopes of a bigger program next year.

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