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In response to the muggings and assaults that have plagued the neighborhood around Brown for the past two academic years (see “Crime Fight,” Elms, March/April 2002), University Hall has looked into measures as bold as arming the Brown police. (A decision about whether or not to arm is still pending.) In September the administration took a less drastic, but still significant, step: expanding the scope of the after-dark shuttle bus service.

Called SafeRide, the new service offers a nighttime shuttle route around campus that is scheduled to arrive every five minutes at each stop. There are also two routes around RISD as well as a reservation-only service to and from Brown and RISD for students, faculty, and staff who live in the outlying neighborhoods. Off-campus service has been extended downtown and to the Providence-Pawtucket line. (Some students, though, have complained that the new service is irregular, that wait times can be too long, and that the drivers don’t know their way around.)

Although students drove the former shuttles, the new drivers are professionals. In fact, the decision to revamp the service came about when a review of Rhode Island law revealed that shuttle drivers must be twenty-one or older and have a chauffeur’s license. So Brown and RISD joined forces to contract with a local company. Students, however, continue to serve as dispatchers.





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