A Balanced Perspective: Taxi program may be abused but is always worth the cost

By Brittany Phillips

Rider University’s Student Government Association has begun to, once again, offer its Safe Ride program. With a valid Rider ID, students who are lost or in trouble can call the number, and a Yellow Cab will come pick them up and return them back to campus free of charge. This is a great idea for the students. If someone misses the last bus, runs out of money, feels unsafe, or doesn’t have a method of transportation, the Yellow Cabs will get him or her back to our campus safely without worry. More importantly, it is an alternate form of transportation for any student who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I’d rather see students taking the Yellow Cabs home instead of risking their lives by driving under the influence or with someone who is. Many times, a person may not be able to find a secure ride home; the Yellow Cabs can be that ride.

For campus residents, the program is convenient for returning to the dorms. However, the program is not only for residents, but commuters too. If a commuter’s car breaks down, he or she can use this service to get safely to the university.

There is one disappointing aspect of the Safe Ride program, which actually has little to do with the program itself, but rather the individuals using it. While some students will take full advantage of the program in a very positive way, there will also be a small portion of students who may use it negatively for self gain rather than for help. It shouldn’t be used consistently as a form of free transportation from one place to the other. Abuse of the program should not be tolerated. The Safe Ride program is meant to help those who need it, not those who consider it a privilege that one can abuse.

I have mixed feelings toward this program. It is reassuring to know that in case of an emergency, when there is no available way for me to get home, I won’t be stranded. Rider is home to me, and as a residentstudent, this is an extra safeguard. But I also consider the potential abuse of the system, because I’ve personally heard students joking about how they’re going to misuse the cabs. I’m not the only one who has been hearing this.

The cabs aren’t meant to be used as a go-between, or as a permanent form of transportation, though some students might wish it so. If Rider’s Safe Ride program can help at least one student find a safe way home after a party, or out of a potentially dangerous situation, it is well worth the costs, because every day college students are killed in drunken driving accidents or are violently attacked. Overall, the safety of our students takes priority over the potential abuse of the Yellow Cabs.

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