FGCU Student Government Association: Student Safety Number One Reason for Free Ride
FORT MYERS, FL - Student safety. That is the reason the Student Government Association at Florida Gulf Coast University has teamed up with a local taxi service to provide stranded students a safe, free ride home anytime and anywhere in Fort Myers, no matter the reason.
“The Saferide program provides an invaluable service to our students: a safe ride home, regardless of the circumstances. Through this program, we are working to ensure that all students in need of a ride are brought home safely and free of charge,” SGA president Magali Solimano said.
The way the program works is simple.
“Each student can pick up a Saferide card from the Student Government offices,” SGA treasurer Dan Mitchell said. Mitchell worked closely with SGA vice president Scott Hulgan to make the program a reality. “The permanent address or driver’s address of the student is written and signed on the back of the card. This one card is worth a single ride from anywhere in the greater area of Fort Myers to the address on the back of the card or the address on the student’s license. Students may pick up additional cards throughout the semester, but not to an abusive extent.”
Years ago, the SGA began the popular SPAN program, or Safe Passage At Night, out of regard for student safety. SPAN provides students with on-campus transportation during evening hours, free of charge. The 2001-2002 SGA wanted to take the successful program to the next level.
“The idea of providing safe rides for students came to student government this year through brainstorming on how to provide increased usage of the SPAN program,” Mitchell said. “SPAN could only be utilized by on-campus students and we felt the need to provide safety measures for all of our students.”
Blue Bird Taxi Inc. agreed to help the SGA extend the program to all of Fort Myers. Owner of the company, Judy Griffin, sees it as more than just a business arrangement. “We’re glad to help out students. I have children in college and I’d rather see them in a taxi than unsafe trying to get home on their own.”
The program is a responsible move for the SGA. It assures every student will receive a safe ride home whether because of engine trouble, a flat tire or even because the student is intoxicated.
“We have hammered out details with Bluebird taxi to provide a discounted rate of $1 per mile,” Mitchell said. “They are also likely to drop their minimum rate of approximately $4.50. The funds are coming from cost savings created from operating a more efficient SPAN.”
For more information, contact Solimano at (941) 590-7964.