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Six girls, one car, free snacks compose new campus transportation

Sept. 26, 2003

By Caressa Lattimore, reporter

Since the beginning of the semester, a carload of enthusiastic Baylor seniors have driven around campus and picked up stranded pedestrians in the rain, the heat and any other weather that hits Waco.

Sarah Bodie, of Garland; Ashley Gillam, of Longview; Holly Grimm, of McGregor; Courtney Grimsley, of Houston; Denise Sando, of Garland; and Brooke McWhorter, of Garland, said they came up with the idea while picking up a roommate from class.

'We had to pick up Ashley in her car for class, and Courtney rode along with me,' Sando said. 'We were driving around to go pick her up, and I just said something like, 'Hey maybe we should go and give people a ride.''

Bodie said she thinks Ride Wit' Me, the name the group gave their service, is a great idea because there always are people who need a ride.

'There will be times when you're walking home from campus, and all these cars are passing you by,' Bodie said. 'You're going, 'Why won't you stop for me? Who cares if I don't know you?''

Bodie said since she was not a part of the original crew for Ride Wit' Me, she tried to pick up a pedestrian by herself a few days after the group's first outing.

'I was driving home from class by myself and saw a guy on crutches walking down Seventh Street,' Bodie said. 'I stopped and asked him if he wanted a ride, and he got in. I would never normally pick up guys by myself. After he got into the car he said, 'Is this some kind of ploy?' And then it got awkward.'

All of the women say they'll pick up anybody as a part of Ride Wit' Me. On one occasion they said they almost picked up a homeless man after giving one of his friends, who did not appear to be a Baylor student, a ride.

'Getting a free ride when you'd normally have to walk makes your day,' Bodie said. 'Ride Wit' Me does not discriminate.'

They said one of the best things that's come from their trips is meeting people they never would have otherwise.

'You walk around and you think, 'Okay, I've met everyone. Cool,'' Sando said. 'But then you do this and you're like, 'No I haven't.''

Sando said Ride Wit' Me takes pedestrians 'anywhere on the Baylor campus they need to go.'

Passengers who ride with them are given free snacks and can listen to whatever music they'd like. The women said that, despite the hospitality, some people hesitate to accept a ride.

McWhorter joked that the best way to get them into the car is to demand. 'Most of them are like, 'No, it's okay, I don't need a ride.' So we're like, 'Get in the car!'' she said.

They plan on expanding the service to include two cars between group members, each team having a walkie-talkie so they can serve more people.

'We'll be like, 'Go to Eighth [Street] and Bagby [Avenue],'' Sando said. ''There are three more people who need a ride!''

Ride Wit' Me will continue, the women said, throughout the rest of the school year because, as Sando said, 'it just brightens our day.' They will be driving around campus handing out prizes to people who read this story and show them their copy of The Baylor Lariat because they are happy to be helping others through Ride Wit' Me.

'It started out as a joke,' McWhorter said. 'But it became something really nice.'