In response to increased demand, Bowdoin security has upped the capacity of the SafeRide system. According to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, two SafeRide vans have been operating during peak hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
Nichols said that security has hired two casual employees to drive the vans for 10 hours on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. In addition, a student-driven van has been operating from 8 or 9 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m.
"Based on input that we'd received from students...we felt that the time was right to add a second van during those peak times so that they wouldn't be waiting as long," said Nichols. "That second van has helped us a lot in providing better coverage and quicker response time to the calls that are coming in."
According to Assistant Director of Security Louann Dustin-Hunter, who oversees the SafeRide system, on Friday and Saturday nights SafeRide averages more than 100 calls.
Dustin-Hunter attributes the large number of calls to a change in the system that occured last year that allows any student or group of students to utilize the service.
In addition to the extra van, security has also hired a second dispatcher during peak hours just to handle SafeRide calls.
According to Nichols, the change may not be temporary.
"It's not just an issue of cold weather?we just want people to feel free to call regardless of the weather, so we'll see what happens," he said.
"A lot of it's going to depend on the volume," Dustin-Hunter said. "If it's still really high [when temperatures start rising], we're going to continue to have the extra coverage so we can meet the need. We want to make sure everyone has the word that they can call for a ride, pretty much any time."