Members of the Georgetown administration and GUSA are discussing changes to the SafeRides program. According to Todd Olson, interim vice president of student affairs, the current proposal includes adding at least one fixed route to the service.

“This new policy is still in a very preliminary planning stage, although the overall timeline should not be a very long one,” GUSA communications director Amy Bonitatibus said. “One issue that will remain at the forefront of these discussions is safety for students waking through Burleith.”

Currently, SafeRides operates two nine-passenger vans that travel from point-to-point picking up students by responding to individual calls. These vans operate from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday through Wednesday and from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. The program transports students to and from locations both on and off campus.

The new plan calls for one of these vans to make a loop starting at Healy Gate. The route would take the van down O or N Street to Potomac Street, then down Potomac to Prospect Street. From there, the van would travel back to campus. Along the way, the proposal has the van making stops along the loop to pick up and drop off students. The second van would continue to make point-to-point individual pickups.

“This is only the thought that came out of the most recent discussion,” Bonitatibus said. “This new policy is still in a very preliminary planning stage, although the discussion should not be a very long one.”

Olson said he is cooperating with GUSA to evaluate the proposal. “We’re actively exploring changes to times to improve the SafeRides program,” he said. “We are following up on the idea of one or more fixed routes.”

The new plan aims at utilizing the two vans in the most effective manner possible, according to Bonitatibus. She emphasized decreasing wait times and foot traffic through the Georgetown neighborhoods while increasing student safety and accessibility of the SafeRides program as some of the main reasons for the proposal to overhaul the program.

“We hope to come to a conclusion on this issue in a timely manner and we know that Dr. Olson will be of tremendous assistance in this endeavor,” she said.

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