16:30 PM

Ride Smart resource remains safety option for student campus commuters

Service reduces wait times and provides a ride at the touch of a button

Public safety officials at The Ohio State University are reminding students of some of the services available to make them safer on and off campus.

For a little more than a year, Ohio State has offered Lyft Ride Smart to eligible students to make a trip in the campus area safer after hours. The service offers discounted rides, inside the university-designated service area, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Each month, 10,000 discounted rides are available on a first-come, first-served basis with the average cost expected to be $1 to $2 for students.

“It is all about expanding access to students so that they can make a decision when they are traveling around campus, whether they’re in groups or by themselves,” said Aaron Moore, program coordinator in the Office of Administration and Planning. “

Lyft Ride Smart is a direct result of the university administration’s collaboration with Undergraduate Student Government to add transportation options to students. The program reduced typical wait times experienced by users of a previous service and allows Ohio State to serve a larger portion of the student population.

“A variety of safety resources are available, including Lyft Ride Smart, the Rave Guardian app and our Buckeye Alert system notifications,” said Ohio State University Police Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt. “They are a part of Ohio State’s relentless commitment to the safety of students, faculty and staff.”

The university announced today the establishment of a task force to review safety issues on campus and in neighborhoods near the university – and to identify, implement and advocate for additional approaches that address violence, crime, and high-risk activities and behaviors.

Moore said the university adopted Lyft Ride Smart to meet the needs of students in a way that’s already familiar to many.

“I now have efficient and safe transportation at the touch of a button or at the use of an application that I probably already have on my smartphone,” he said.

The service has adapted to the COVID-19 era as well. To protect the health and safety of passengers, “shared” rides have been temporarily suspended to eliminate the possibility of users riding with another passenger they do not know. Lyft has initiated additional health and safety measures through a personal health certification program. 

All users are encouraged to follow important safety tips:

  • Follow the Lyft vehicle on GPS via the app.
  • Visually confirm vehicle info/description matches information in the Lyft app (license plate, model, etc.).
  • Matching the color: Most Lyft drivers have a dashboard display that acts as a beacon, changing color to match the rider’s app and help identify their Lyft more easily.
  • Ask the driver to say who they are picking up.
  • If you feel unsafe, leave the area and contact law enforcement.

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