North Texas Daily

Column: No safe rides here — taxi service out of business

Column: No safe rides here — taxi service out of business

Column: No safe rides here — taxi service out of business
April 01
01:58 2014

Edward Balusek // Staff Writer

Last Thursday night I had a problem. I was absolutely shlobberknocked (trashed) after several hours on Fry Street and was in no shape to drive home – at least not safely.

It was a good thing I remembered there was a free taxi service, Safe Ride Inc., that will drive drunken UNT students home no questions asked, or so I thought.

According to Safe Ride Inc.’s Facebook page, the company provides free, non-judgmental rides to UNT students anywhere within Denton city limits. As long as the rider can provide a student I.D. and is requesting the ride Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., he or she can get a free, safe ride home.

When I dialed the number for Safe Ride Inc., struggling to stand up straight inside Lucky Lou’s, the phone rang and rang without an answer. They’re probably busy, I thought. After waiting a few minutes I tried the number again but got the same result.

Once more I waited a few minutes, or however long it took to down my beer before last call, and dialed a third time. I wasn’t surprised when the other end of the line was unresponsive.

Luckily, I live about a mile from the bars on Fry Street so I lumbered home like a tranquilized bear, drunk and rejected.

In the morning I went to the Internet to find out why Safe Ride didn’t answer my call. I sent a few emails that, much like my phone calls from the previous night, went unanswered.

I revisited the still-active Facebook page to read up on the company in hopes of finding some answers. Under the ‘about’ link I found that Safe Ride operated out of the Ridge at North Texas apartments on Colorado Boulevard.

During a short conversation with Ridge employee and emergency administration and planning sophomore Alex Noland, I was informed that Safe Ride hadn’t operated out of the Ridge in four years.

I returned to Safe Ride’s Facebook to locate more answers but only found disappointment. The last post on the timeline was from October 2012 and the link to the company’s webpage was inactive.

At first I tried to justify blaming Safe Ride for the debacle. It could easily delete its Facebook page or disconnect the phone number instead of luring inebriated students into a false sense of security.

Unfortunately my conscience forced the pendulum to swing the other way. If I had only double-checked the night before to make sure the service was still offered I wouldn’t have had to walk home down a dark road, alone, drenched in alcohol-scented sweat.

However, I removed my emotions from the situation and realized that in the end Safe Ride Inc. and my drunken ignorance owned an equal part in the dilemma.

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All graphics by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor 

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