The Department of Safety and Security announced a new name, focus, and phone number for its student shuttle service.

The first change is to its name. The Escort Service has morphed into the Student Safe Ride Service.

"It really clarifies what the purpose of the program is," Assistant Director of Security Louann Dustin-Hunter said of the new name. "When [students] call, the main purpose is for a safe ride."

Students should not call the service simply for a convenient trip to another party, she said.

"When people do abuse it, the calls get backed up," Dustin-Hunter said. Dustin-Hunter added that individuals often end up walking home alone.

"We don't want that," she said.

Operators will begin asking more questions of callers to ensure that they actually need a safe ride home or to another school building.

The service will also operate under a new phone extension. Students can call x3337 to request a ride. The operator should be able to give an estimated for the time of arrival.

The Student Safe Ride Service operates seven nights a week, from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. On an average weekend night, 35 to 40 individuals or groups call the service to request transportation.

Operation is expected to begin September 18 for the 2004-2005 academic year.