Riding safely

The Safe Ride program is one of the best known programs run by the Case Western Reserve University Police and Security Services Department. If you haven’t used the service yourself yet, you have probably seen the white vans as they roam around campus.

As the November weather turns into a steady tsunami of cold rain and more students start staying late at the library as final exams loom ever closer, demand for Safe Ride tends to spike. So, now may be a good time for a review of the program.

The Safe Ride program was started in 2009 with a single driver and a somewhat dependable blue van. It is now several, much more dependable vans staffed by contract drivers. The program was intended to offer an additional eventing transport option, along with the shuttle bus service.

The hours of operation during the academic year are 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The program was originally a call-in service, but as the call volume steadily increased, we saw the need for a more efficient system. The RideCell automated dispatch system was introduced in 2012. The system can be accessed by using your CWRU network ID, or you can call 216-368-3000 and follow the prompts.

When you request a ride, remember a few things. The service is there to help you get around campus safely. It is not a taxi. Please be by the pickup site you requested, so the van can get you and keep moving to the next request.

During busy times like finals or periods of bad weather, the response can be slower, so be patient. The vans are still subject to laws of traffic and physics.

The vans are not ambulances. If you are feeling ill (like you are about to throw up, for instance), call the CWRU PD at 216-368-3333 and we will get you the appropriate help.

The van’s service area has boundaries, which students can view at police.case.edu. The van does not go to Coventry Rd., which the shuttle serves. We always try and balance the service boundaries against demand and response times.

If you have suggestions about service boundaries, let us know. As the program winds up its fifth year of service to the university, let’s keep on trucking.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. We welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at policecolumn@case.edu.