What changes have been made to CSU’s RamRide program since its creation?

Amid all the midterms and papers due this week, another event occurred –– the celebration of the ninth year of RamRide and the first year of RamRide Return by the Associated Students of CSU.

Since its creation in 2003, the program has given 174,038  safe rides home, according to ASCSU President Regina Martel. That’s an average of about 200 rides per night of operation.

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“RamRide has come such a long way,” said Becky Ewing, director of RamRide. “It’s grown not only in terms of usage, but also in staff, community support, cars and the amount of students who know about it. It has literally grown in every aspect possible.”

RamRide began in an apartment off campus, according to Ewing. The program initially rented cars for every night of operation until it became clear that it would be more cost-efficient to purchase vehicles solely for RamRide’s use.

“In the beginning, the program was completely run by the RamRide and ASCSU members,” Ewing said. “They literally worked it every single weekend just to get it started, but after that it really started to grow.”

Today, RamRide has its own office in the Lory Student Center, a 19-car fleet and eight paid employees.

“Its really become part of our campus culture,” said Emma Lanham, a veteran RamRide volunteer. “A Lot of the CSU alumni in my hometown think it’s great that its not only still here, but that it has grown so much in the last few years and really become part of who we are.”

ASCSU also celebrated the first birthday of RamRide Return, an initiative implemented by the last ASCSU administration. In its pilot year, the program has seen consistently low numbers –– a trend that some site as an attribute to the natural growing pains of a new program.

“It’s grown a lot in the last year, but it’s still in its early stages,” Ewing said. “It has a lot of growing left to do … this year will play a heavy role in determining its growth and how sustainable it will be for the years to come.”

The celebration included free cake for passers-by on the plaza, free t-shirts and informational fliers promoting RamRide Return. This year’s birthday celebration was low key, according to Ewing, but for RamRide’s 10th birthday, she said, the department won’t hold anything back.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Carrie Mobley can be reached at news@collegian.com.