UM Safe Ride partners with city

Posted on Feb 16 2016 - 9:41am by Slade Rand

The city of Oxford and Students for a Safe Ride came together recently to create a safe and convenient late-night transportation option. Since January 21, Safe Route buses have been helping students safely get home and keeping traffic safer on the Square.

Previously, the Safe Ride and Oxford-University Transit bus systems operated separately across the UM campus and Oxford. Recent parking issues on the Square and campus prompted an overhaul of local public transportation.  Both the city and university recognized this need for change and created a new program. Student organization Students for a Safe Ride and Oxford’s O.U.T. partnered together, founding Safe Route, a bus service running at night between the Square and campus.

Courtesy: Safe Ride

Courtesy: Safe Ride

The Safe Route bus stop includes four stops on Campus; Crosby, Minor Hall, Paris-Yates Chapel and Sorority Row, taking riders to and from the Federal Building on East Jackson Avenue. The service runs Thursdays and Fridays throughout the Fall and Spring semesters from 10 p.m.-2 a.m., as well as Saturdays from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. As with other O.U.T. routes, fares are free with an Ole Miss ID.

The merger combines the student initiative behind Safe Ride with the logistics and management capabilities of O.U.T.

Photo by: Kamera Griffin

Photo by: Kamera Griffin

“We’re so excited that the city has decided to start the Safe Route,” said Nina Brown, co-president of Students for a Safe Ride at the University. The Safe Ride committee is looking forward to

focusing energy on fundraising and awareness events now, as O.U.T and the city will handle the logistics of this operation, Brown said. “Hopefully with more donations we will eventually be able to increase the number of buses running and extend the route to housing off campus.”

This partnership shows the benefits that both the city of Oxford and the University can receive from working together. Brown said while the city hopes the new route will reduce weekend traffic to the Square, Students for a Safe Ride can now bring more events to campus and begin work on other projects while O.U.T manages the day-to-day operations of Safe Route.

“Having O.U.T. take over the logistics of the Safe Route allows us to focus on fundraising and encouraging students to make smart decisions,” Brown said. “Both the city and the University have been extremely helpful and encouraging throughout this whole process.”