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Changes in store for UW-Madison SAFEride cab service

December 22, 2009

Beginning Jan. 2, the maximum number of SAFEride cab trips will change from four per month to six per semester. Riders will be permitted to use SAFEride cab service three times during the summer session.

According to Michael Romensko, UW–Madison student and a member of the committee that advises student-financed transportation programs at the university, these changes are intended to discourage the use of SAFEride cab as a frequent source of nighttime transportation.

“The SAFEride cab program is intended to be used only in the case of emergencies,” he says. “We’ve seen a pattern of a very small number of students, fewer than 200, using SAFEride cab very frequently.”

Unlike SAFEwalk, which is funded entirely by Transportation Services, and SAFEride bus, which is paid for by both Transportation Services and student segregated fees, SAFEride cab service is funded entirely by students through student segregated fees.

According to Romenesko, “We need to curb non-emergency use of SAFEride cab because we can’t continue to sustain double-digit increases in the cost of this program.”

Jo Matzner, another student who volunteers to oversee transportation programs for ASM, adds, “We are very concerned with student safety. That’s why it’s important to keep SAFEride cab service as an option for students in a tight spot. I’d urge students to continue to call SAFE Nighttime services when they need assistance or advice on nighttime travel.”

Both Matzner and Romenesko pointed out that students have other alternatives to frequent use of SAFEride cab, such as using campus-area late-night buses, walking in groups or hiring a cab on their own. Learning to use these resources for smart nighttime travel will be a valuable lifelong skill for all students.

For more information about these alternatives, visit