With students filtering back for the start of the fall semester, there comes the inevitable excitement at being back on campus. But just as important as students enjoying their time on campus is ensuring that they’re safe as well.
The University of Missouri, as with many other institutions, is helping to ensure that students make it home safely with it’s own ride share program, STRIPES. But with popular apps like Uber and Lyft making strong inroads on campuses nationwide, it can be hard to remember that universities also offer these safe alternatives.
To help remind students of the option, the contact number for the STRIPES service is printed on the back of every University of Missouri student ID card.
The service offers a safe, discreet ride home, and is free for any UM student. Calling the number on a weekend night connects students to a dispatcher, who will send a car to pick up and drive students home.
The service is primarily designed to take students home after a long night out at bars or parties, but the service also assists students who need to leave campus late at night or otherwise don’t want to pay for a ride-share service.
The service runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. The entire operation is run by students, and each car staffs one male and one female as driver and passenger.
The rides are also confidential, meaning students won’t get in trouble for anything that occurred before getting into the car. STRIPES doesn’t ask for any information other than the student’s name and home address, and a Missouri student ID card from one of the riders.
The STRIPES program recruits new drivers every semester through an application and interview process. Because the program is student-run, it relies on only volunteer drivers and dispatchers.
The service rents vehicles from a local Avis, so volunteer drivers need not provide their own car. The program is funded by the Missouri Students Association, private donors, local businesses and patron tips.