SLURide service to be “tweaked” for efficiency

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Twenty-seven thousand walking escorts, golf-cart rides and van-shuttle services later, SLU Ride is being “tweaked” this year for efficiency.

“In my opinion, I think SLU Ride is very efficient and useful,” senior Michelle Espinoza, who uses the SLU Ride service often, said. “However, I have heard other students have issues with the walking escorts.”

The SLU Ride service, which is provided for free by the Department of Public Safety and Security Services (DPSSS), exists “for students, faculty, staff and visitors who want to be accompanied to cars, other buildings or across campus,” the service’s website says. Depending on the availability of escorts, a student’s location, weather conditions and the time of day, SLU Ride may dispatch an officer, a DPSSS golf cart, a SLU Ride van or a trained student worker to accompany the student from one location to another.

Espinoza said that she has used the walking escort service once, and while it was helpful, she “did not see the sense of having two girls walk alone at night, unprotected. She only had a whistle on her.”

“We’re trying to streamline [SLU Ride] so it’s more efficient,” Captain Chris Bingham, student worker commander for SLU Ride, said. He said that with any changes to the current system, there were bound to be concerns; in this case, with the walking service.

“Some of the concerns are, ‘Are you guys only doing walking escorts?’ That’s not true, we’re just providing the best service for the escort that’s needed,” Bingham said. He added that SLU Ride strives for perfection and is receptive to feedback.

The addition of trained student workers as safety escorts to SLU Ride’s walking service is part of a streamlining of the service, in response to an internal audit last year, Will Hartzler, a student and lead SLU Ride coordinator, said.

In an email, Hartzler said that the staff “took a step back to evaluate the program [and] find areas needing focus, change and better implementation.” In addition to students escorting fellow students, these changes include increasing walking escorts on the Frost campus, extending SLU Ride’s boundaries two blocks outside of all SLU property and accepting safety escorts from off-campus locations to other off-campus locations, he said.

“SLU Ride is grateful for the work of Transportation Services by providing use of the vans and maintenance,” he said. “We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication to the SLU Ride program by Joe Stumpf and Ann Gioia.”

Stumpf is the mail and transportation supervisor, and Gioia serves as the director of Parking and Card Services.

Espinoza said that while she understands that the student workers are trained, she still prefers the vans during cold weather.

“The drivers are pretty friendly and safe,” she said.

SLU Ride’s efforts to frequently improve their services have proven successful in the past and may calm student apprehension