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November 2, 2013

ISU: free taxis promote awareness

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University continues to expand on its alcohol-awareness programs by offering free taxi rides during a month-long pilot program.

The Safe Rides program provides free taxi rides through the Yellow Cab Company for Indiana State students in need of a ride Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., within the Terre Haute city limits.

To utilize the service, students should call Yellow Cab at 812-478-5000 to request pickup and show their Indiana State student ID to the driver.

The pilot program, which began Thursday and continues through Nov. 30, is funded through Indiana State’s Strategic Plan and the Student Wellness Initiative in conjunction with University Police.

The Safe Rides program expands on SoberRide, a similar program that has been conducted during Homecoming for the past three years.

SoberRide provides free transportation to Indiana State students who are concerned about driving themselves or riding in a car with another driver who may have been drinking.

On Homecoming Saturdays, students can simply go to marked stops along Wabash Avenue to board a 20-passenger shuttle back to campus.

SoberRide provided 343 rides to students during 2013 Homecoming.

“The original idea behind SoberRide was to expand to every weekend of the academic year,” said Aimee Janssen-Robinson, assistant dean of students for student advocacy.

Janssen-Robinson said there is interest from the Terre Haute community to partner with the university to make that expansion a reality, but a pilot was necessary to put together a budget and gauge student appeal.

“We will seek feedback from all partners and conduct focus groups with students at the conclusion of the pilot program,” Janssen-Robinson said. “If things go well, we will be seeking sponsorship to continue, such as sponsoring a month or a week at a time during the academic year.”

For more information about the program, contact Janssen-Robinson at aimee.janssen-robinson@indstate.edu.

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