Thursday November 15, 2001
SafeRide will not do drop offs at businesses
Students can still get to businesses by asking to be dropped off nearby
SafeRide will no longer take students to local business - at least not if students ask to go there by name.
The ride service will still honor requests for transportation to any intersection within its boundaries, as long as students don't give the name of the business they're going to, Associated Students of the University of Arizona officials said at last night's meeting.
When talking to state officials last week, SafeRide director Craig Haubrich uncovered a restriction that prevents state vehicles for being used for commercial purposes - which include driving students to businesses.
Students who call to request SafeRide service may list the name of a business destination, be refused service and get service when they call back to give the operator the name of the cross streets or address for the same location.
SafeRide Director Craig Haubrich said that if a student asked to go to Tyndall Avenue and University Boulevard - the location of Gentle Ben's Brewing Co., 865 E. University Blvd. - it would be legal for a SafeRide driver to take a student there.
"It sounds like the university is just telling us to cheat the system, but if I have no prior knowledge of where a student is coming from, it's their own personal business," Haubrich said. "If I drop (students) off, I don't know what they're doing·even if it may be blatantly obvious."
Haubrich added that SafeRide was founded to promote safety, not take people grocery shopping.
University of Arizona vehicles are not covered by insurance when taken onto commercial property, so the driver of the vehicle would be relying on his or her own insurance in an accident, said Tricia Williams, ASUA administrative vice president.
How the restrictions will apply to student groups that rent the vehicles for trips remains to be seen, Williams said.
The new SafeRide restrictions are a step backward for ASUA senators Allison Jones and Sarah Calvert, who campaigned on extending SafeRide service to allow students to Safeway at 1940 E. Broadway Blvd.
SafeRide provides rides to UA students throughout the university community.
However the two senators are talking to administrators and local businesses to determine whether they could get students a lift on a shuttle service that would run from the UA campus to local businesses.
Ideally, the senators would like to start a free shuttle service that would run for four hours on one day each week. The service would offer students rides leaving every half hour and would take students to whichever grocery store opts to fund the service, Calvert said.
Because the business would pay for the shuttle, it would be exempt from the state restrictions that SafeRide operates under.