Paul Bittick

Students are scrambling for options now that Safe Ride has closed its door in San Luis Obispo.

The April 19 closure sparked concerns from law enforcement the day before Cal Poly’s Open House. The weekend avoided major incidents, however a long-term solution to the loss of Safe Ride has yet to take shape.

ASI President Tylor Middlestadt stated that he is currently working on a temporary alternative to Safe Ride.

According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Safe Ride provided a way home for approximately 8,000 people per year. The article reported that 25 percent of Safe Ride users were Cal Poly students based on the number of rides to the university.

Problems with intoxicated riders and low wages for drivers were among the reasons cited for the program’s closure in previously published information by the Tribune, KSBY and KCOY.

Without Safe Ride, students have limited options to avoid driving while intoxicated.

“We are disappointed with the cancellation of the Safe Ride program because it was a safe alternative to get home,” said Capt. Dan Blanke with the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Blanke said people will have to make an effort to plan ahead for designated drivers or sober people who can come pick them up when the night is over. He said that walking home could be a worse option, because people could then be cited for a drunk in public violation.

“It comes down to people being responsible,” Blanke said.

All buses in the city cease running by 9 p.m., with some routes to Cal Poly ending before 7 p.m.

One taxi service runs in San Luis Obispo with a total of 17 cars in the city limits. San Luis Obispo Taxi owner Jeff Goldenberg has seen “a little spike in business,” over the last two weeks. He has plans to start a shuttle service between Cal Poly and downtown running Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“I think as long as we don’t have the same issues to keep people safe on the way, it is a good idea,” ASI presidential candidate Todd Maki said. He cited reports of fighting on the buses, although in his experience with the service, he has not actually seen anything like the reported incidents.

“Sometimes they forgot (to pick you up) and passed you by,” ASI presidential candidate Anne Giapapas said. She said that transportation issues were one of the primary reasons she has chosen to run in the ASI election. Her campaign would specifically appoint a transportation chair to improve transit off campus, including changing escort van polices and increasing bus routes.

Nutrition junior Denova Sixto said she often tries to get a designated driver when going out with friends, but said she would use a Cal Poly alternative to Safe Ride if it was available.

“I took it once,” business senior Jamie Albanis said. “It was fun.”

Albanis said that now he walks home from the bars, and does not worry about receiving a drunk-in-public citation.

General engineering senior Elizabeth Moore used the program “just a few times a year.” She said the system required people to wait a while, but thinks the program had a lot of merit.

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