Lyft gives safe rides to students through “Rider Smart”

By Jennifer Boyer

Rider has partnered with Lyft, a ride-sharing app, for “Rider Smart,” a program that works to help students avoid unsafe driving situations after nights out.

As of Sept. 6, all Rider students were able to use the Lyft app through Rider with no charge from Thursday to Sunday, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each week. 

Lyft advocates a reliable and convenient way for students to get back to campus late at night. 

“I think that it is awesome that Rider and Lyft are partnering,” said Roxana Aguilar, senior public relations major. “It’s great for the university to be thinking about students safety. I know my freshmen year, we did have a safe ride system, but people didn’t know about it or used it as their only way of getting back on to campus.”

The “Rider Smart” program is aiming to prevent impaired driving around the community. Rider students can make a Lyft account using their Rider email address. Students must then call Public Safety after returning to campus. 

“I think using an app is great because most college students already use Lyft or Uber. It’s easy to use and convenient for students,” Aguilar said.

“I believe this method is safer because if someone did not have this option they could potentially put themselves in a unsafe situation for a ride back to campus,” said Taylor Jaenicke, senior digital media major.

Aguilar mentioned that this shouldn’t be a student’s first option when coming back to campus. Students should already have a ride planned when leaving campus. 

“The goal is to get students back to campus safer,” said James Flatley, captain of Public Safety. “I think that this is a great opportunity and kind of unique. I think Lyft has more operators and drivers than the old program.”

Students who use the Lyft program have to be picked up within 10 miles from either the Lawrenceville or Princeton campuses. From there, they will be brought back to their campus. 

 “Using Lyft allows our students to use an app-based system that gives them more control such as setting their pickup location, tracking their own ride, and driver info,” said Mary Amato, director of international auxiliary programs. “The technology is available now, and it just makes more sense to take advantage of a service that already is familiar to students.”

In this pilot program, “We chose to cover late night needs of students who need reliable transportation back to campus. We will monitor the program throughout this first semester to see if any parameters can be changed to enhance the program further,” Amato said.

Each ride covers up to $20 worth of ride credit. Students are able to use two Safe Rides per semester from Thursday-Saturday 10 p.m.-6 p.m. 

To learn more about Rider’s Safe Rides program, visit www.rider.edu/saferides.

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