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SafeRide contract ends, new service hired

First Transit Inc. offers new shuttles and more competitive prices for transportation services

Starting next semester, SafeRide will still be on call ­— but it will be called a different name.

First Transit Inc., a company used by Yale and Princeton, will replace University Shuttle LLC as the campus shuttle service provider July 1, said Beth Gentry, assistant vice president of administration and financial services.

University Shuttle’s contract with Brown expires June 30, Gentry said. The “SafeRide” name will end with Brown’s relationship with University Shuttle, because the name is registered property of the company, she said.

Gentry led a committee to research and compare other available shuttle companies, she said. The committee comprised representatives from the Transportation Office, the Purchasing Department, the Department of Public Safety and the Alpert Medical School.

The shuttles running on campus include daytime shuttle BrownMed/Downcity Express, morning and evening shuttle South Main Street Express, nighttime SafeRide, SafeRide onCall and the Student and Employee Accessibility onCall shuttle, according to the transportation office website. All will be replaced with new First Transit vehicles, Gentry said.

The University issued a Request for Proposals to shuttle companies in early September, a common business practice, Gentry said. The committee analyzed a comprehensive set of data and ultimately decided First Transit was the best fit for Brown.

“The clear advantages of First Transit are that we will be getting brand-new shuttles and that their price was less than (University Shuttle),” Gentry said, though she was unable to give specifics about the savings. “We looked at a whole litany of criteria, including price, drivers, training, maintenance, service and staffing.”

SafeRide’s new name is still a work in progress, as are the complete financials of the transition, Gentry said.

University Shuttle could not be reached for comment.


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