Tyler Middlestadt

Starting tomorrow night, Cal Poly students will have a safe, affordable ride home from downtown. The College Shuttle by Beach Cities Cab Co., Inc. will offer students a convenient ride from downtown to neighborhoods near campus.

I admit, the program is not perfect and it does not meet everyone’s needs, but I guarantee it is a step in the right direction.

Late night transportation has been a pressing issue at Cal Poly for many years. ASI has been searching for practical solutions since the beginning. As we all know, Safe Ride shut its doors in mid-April. The headlines were everywhere proclaiming that the program was closed and challenging the community to propose an alternative.

Ironically, the development of this shuttle program was born out of an unexpected phone call I received from Beach Cities owner Jeff Goldenberg. He was irritated with the bad press he had received from my quotations in the media in the wake of the Safe Ride closure. I was quoted saying that taxis are unreliable, too expensive and required extreme wait times.

He contacted me to set the record straight, and to hopefully gain my support in getting accurate information to the public. Rather than jump to the defensive or apologize profusely, I sensed an opportunity.

You see, ASI and Beach Cities Cab Co. have some things in common: they want people to have convenient access to safe transportation late into the night, and they are in the business of providing services for people.

Here’s the opportunity I sensed: ASI wants to solve the late night transportation challenge and Beach Cities Cab Co. wants to increase their business during late night hours. I asked Mr. Goldenberg what he thought about working together to solve this problem and we immediately began developing a concept. It was a win-win from the start.

I called a stakeholder meeting with broad representation from the university, SLO city, downtown business owners and the police department. We agreed there was potential to move ahead.

Goldenberg and I began penciling out a program that we believe will evolve into a comprehensive solution to late night transportation challenges.

The good news is that the Beach Cities Cab Co. College Shuttle service launches tomorrow night. The bad news is that the only way we can guarantee the service will continue to expand is if Cal Poly students ride the shuttle frequently over the next four weeks and treat the service respectfully unlike those responsible for the closure of Safe Ride.

Here are the details:

The shuttle will operate every Thursday to Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

The shuttle will pick students up at Marsh/Chorro with drop-off locations at Campus Bottle, Santa Rosa/Foothill, Cuesta/Foothill, Patricia/Foothill and Ramona/Palomar

The shuttle is guaranteed for a four-week pilot period, ending on June 10.

The shuttle costs $4 per ride, and is one-way only from downtown to home.

ASI is selling 500 $3 promotional tickets at the ASI Epicenter.

While there is a temporary solution in place, the work isn’t done. We need your feedback to help develop a more comprehensive service to launch next fall. We would like the College Shuttle to serve all areas of San Luis Obispo, but for now we’re starting small.

It’s up to you whether or not we can go big so you can get home.

Tylor Middlestadt is the ASI president and Mustang Daily columnist. He can be reached at 756-5828, tmiddles@calpoly.edu, AIM: CPASI President

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