On May 21, the Maplewood Township Committee passed a resolution adopting Safe Rides MapSO, a ride-sharing service for students and by students in South Orange and Maplewood.
The Maplewood Youth Advisory Committee has been working to raise funds for the development of an app for the program. Maplewood Township Committee Member Dean Dafis reported on May 21 that the app should cost about $5,000, and that the South Orange Municipal Alliance and Maplewood Municipal Alliance have each pledged to pick up one third of the cost of app development; students raised the final third through a gofundme page and other efforts (the gofundme is not shut down as the fundraising goal was met).
Youth Advisory Committee members Bernadette Clawson (YAC Chair, CHS Senior), Dylan Danuser (YAC Chair, CHS Senior) and Justin Strugger (YAC Member, Maplewood Middle, 8th grade) reported that the logo for the program was created by CHS senior Ethan Pidgeon, one of the entrepreneurs behind MapSO Supply. The Safe Rides MapSO program is also featured in an article in the The Columbian this spring.
“I think the program is a great representation of the teens in these towns and what we can do,” said Strugger.
In introducing the resolution, Dafis said that the program is “students serving other students, making sure that they get home safely from parties — not endangering them with other strangers via Uber and Lyft.” Dafis said that every driver would have a navigator, accept two passengers maximum, and that passengers who are sick or require assistance can be rejected and should call 911 to be assisted by police. He reported that all participants must have parental approval.
Dafis added that the program had been “blessed by both police chiefs” and noted that he and the Youth Advisory Cmmittee members had been working with the township attorney. Finally, Dafis noted that the insurance of the driver is primary and the Township insurance is secondary in the program.
From the Safe Rides MapSO gofundme page:
Maplewood’s Youth Advisory Committee is putting forward a program bringing Safe Rides back to life within the Maplewood-South Orange Community within a new APP! To make this app we need some funding from our community to put forward this initiative along with funding from both Maplewood and South Orange Town.
Don’t know what safe rides is?
Safe Rides is a program by students for students to provide the opportunity to take a car ride from someone else instead of driving under the influence or in the need of a ride. This program will be run through an app by authorized drivers and authorized users registered with the Maplewood Police Department. Donate to encourage safety among students in our community!
Watch the discussion beginning around the 1:27:30 mark in the video: