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      Safe Rides offered to students over the weekend

      Students on Northern Michigan University's campus will have an alternative transportation solution during this festive weekend.

      Safe Rides is a service opportunity offered one weekend a semester, providing a free and safe way for students to get back to their residence after leaving a party or bar.

      This weekend Payne Hall transforms from a dorm to the operation for Safe Rides. Volunteers gather in the dorm hall lobby and wait for calls from students in need.

      Dispatchers then send for them in a van with a driver and a chaperone to assist. Each van seats seven people, so students pile in, grateful to have a safe resource to call.ã??

      "I feel very safe, because I was going to walk or probably get in a car with someone, and I feel very glad someone sober was driving me home" says Danielle Cornwell.

      Safe Rides earned its good reputation among students over the course of five years, and in that time, they've given over 3,000 rides to students at NMU.

      The service is of no charge, but they do ask for donations, if possible, to offset the cost of gas.

      Safe Rides will run Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The number to call Safe Rides is (906) 362-4669.