Student ride service starts sooner, sets records

Monday, August 30, 2010 | 10:54 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Last spring, STRIPES projected it would have given 100,000 rides home to students by February 2011. But the organization may surpass that mark by the end of the semester if it continues at last weekend's pace, a press release from the organization said Monday. 

STRIPES, a student-run organization that tries to reduce drunken driving, gave 824 rides from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28, a record for an opening weekend. The organization also broke its rides-per-night record on Saturday with 367, the release said.

This was the first year that STRIPES offered rides the first weekend of school.

“Students want us to start earlier, even the week before classes start,” said Andrew Worrall, STRIPES's public relations manager. “Especially when new freshmen are here, they don’t want to sleep somewhere uncomfortable.”

Between 50 and 70 volunteers worked last weekend; the organization has 192 total volunteers so far for the semester, Worrall said.

STRIPES added more vehicles after the Missouri Students Association gave it more money, said Matthew Wheeler, the group's director.

“There is a large demand to serve the students, and Columbia as well,” Wheeler said.

With an additional car for each night, STRIPES runs seven cars on Thursdays and 10 cars on Fridays and Saturdays, according to the release.

“The more cars, the better,” said Maggie Kiel, a junior at MU and a volunteer for the organization.

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