Washington Square News

Safe Ride Needs To Get Better

By Cara Zambrano, Staff Writer

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Safe Ride is an on-demand van service that promises to transport students safely and effectively within NYU’s campus. Though Assistant Director for Transportation Services Greg Rivas claimed that the service has improved drastically and that the wait time during the fall semester was down by one minute — from 18 to 17 minutes — the service still needs quick and acute improvement. It does not attend to the necessities of NYU students nor comply with its promises.

From the allegations of students, there is a general consensus that Safe Ride is not reliable nor effective. One of the concerns was the algorithm used to calculate Safe Ride’s routes. Safe Ride doesn’t use the quickest routes, as drop-offs are prioritized by who asked for the service first, not by whose drop-off post was closest. Despite Rivas’ allegation that Safe Ride’s average wait time is 17 minutes, many students complained about the wait. A Stern freshman said she requested the service at around 3 a.m. and by 5 a.m., the van had not arrived. She and her friends decided to walk back to their dorm-building. They received a text saying that the van was outside at 6:30 a.m.

While this situation is unfortunate and should not have happened, the girl was luckily accompanied by her friends. As almost 60 percent of NYU’s student body is female, Safe Ride’s shortcomings are not only a concern for overall campus safety but they also put female students in danger, as they are — unfortunately — likely to experience a lot of sexual assault on campus. For young women who have just moved to the city, Safe Ride should ensure comfort and freedom. Walking home alone at night presents possible danger around every corner, and Safe Ride should offer females an alternative to that.

Though Washington Square Park is a relatively safe area, we cannot be too cautious. When Safe Ride is used mostly by students who live in distant dorms, efficiency is necessary — and the service lacks efficiency. Safe Ride should be an assertion of NYU’s concern for campus safety and an assurance that every student will return home safe. Instead, it falls short of its promises and frustrates students.

Email Cara Zambrano at [email protected]

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