Letter: UMB Safe Ride Is Back in Service on March 1

February 25, 2021

Dear UMB Community:
 
So much has changed over the past year, but my commitment to your safety remains constant. When the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department (UMBPD) Safe Ride service was suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked with students, faculty, and staff to identify alternative safe transportation for our community, and Lyft Ride Smart at UMB launched in November.
 
As we continued to learn and adapt, I have heard your questions and concerns and understand that the Lyft program alone does not meet your needs. Therefore, I am proud to announce that we are relaunching our Safe Ride program March 1, with your health and safety as my top priority.
 
Over the past several months, we worked extensively with Environmental Health and Safety and medical experts at UMB to ensure that our Safe Ride service is as safe as possible.
 

Safe Ride vans:

  • We have installed protective barriers between driver and passenger in all of our Safe Ride vans.
  • Safe Rides are limited to one passenger at a time, or no more than two passengers from the same household.
  • Passengers will be asked to sit in the back of the van to further increase physical distancing.

Drivers:

  • Drivers will wear professionally fitted N95 respirators.
  • Drivers will disinfect all hard touch-point areas between each ride and at the start and end of each shift.

Passengers:

  • Passengers will be required to acknowledge that they are not COVID-positive, are not experiencing symptoms, and have not been exposed to a COVID-positive person before requesting a Safe Ride.
  • Passengers will be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the van.
  • Passengers will be required to wear a face covering at all times, in compliance with the UMB Face Covering Policy. Medical-grade masks will be provided for passengers who do not have a face covering.
 
We also have worked with UMB contact tracers to ask those who test positive for COVID-19 whether they used the Safe Ride service. If we learn that someone who tested positive for COVID-19 used a Safe Ride van, it will be taken out of service for extensive cleaning and our driver will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test.
 
This pilot relaunch of our Safe Ride program will be monitored and evaluated continuously to ensure that it is operating safely. Safe Rides are available every day from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. and can be requested through the Mobile UMB App (learn how to request a Safe Ride) or by calling 410-706-6882. Please be patient – reduced ridership and increased cleaning protocols mean wait times may vary. We will continue to offer discounted rides 24/7 through Lyft Ride Smart at UMB. Our Safe Walk program also is available on campus 24/7 by calling 410-706-6882.
 
No solution is perfect, but I am committed to providing resources to keep you safe, and I am committed to doing it the right way. Stay safe!
 
Sincerely,
 
Thomas Leone
UMB Interim Chief of Police