Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Cape County Transit Authority provides sober rides to SEMO students

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Graphic by Emma Kratky

Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or into a car with an intoxicated driver is unsafe and potentially life-altering. Deciding between drunk driving and a free, safe and reliable ride home can mean the difference between being charged with a crime and being charged up with a good night’s rest.

According to the SEMO website, Southeast students who do not have a sober driver can call the Cape County Transit Authority (CTA) for a complimentary safe ride from a drinking establishment back to their place of residence, both of which must be within the city limits of Cape Girardeau. This service is available from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

CTA is a local bus and taxi public transportation service available to all Cape County residents, including SEMO students who may not have access to a vehicle. It is especially beneficial for intoxicated students to help avoid drunk driving.

Additionally, there are two bus routes with many stops around Cape Girardeau. SEMO students, staff and faculty can utilize this service for free.

Susan Redford, operations manager at Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority, said students can call CTA at (573) 335-5533 and ask for the SEMO Safe Ride Program. The student must present a valid student or state ID to utilize the program, but identifying information will not be recorded.

“We do not take their name; whenever they call for a ride, we just ask where they are, where they’re going,” Redford said. “They let us know they want to use SEMO Safe Ride, and when the driver arrives, they just ensure a student ID is present. We do not track the name at all.”

Beth Glaus, director of SEMO’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), is a strong advocate for making sure all students have a safe ride home.

“With the increase in alcohol and marijuana use … people need opportunities to make choices when they believe they may have had too much,” Glaus said. “If this is something that can provide that level of intervention to decide not to get behind the wheel, it is a positive.”

Sophomore pre-pharmacy major Winter White-Banks views the program as a safe alternative to drunk driving for students.

“I think having a sober driver that students can rely on after a fun night on the town is a safe option for students who choose to use it,” White-Banks said.

For more information on alcohol resources, visit SEMO’s website.