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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

15 years & 229,000+ rides

Dee Huggan — THE BATTALION
The organization consists of 250 members and has given 229,533 free, safe and non-judgemental rides.
Dee Huggan — THE BATTALION The organization consists of 250 members and has given 229,533 free, safe and non-judgemental rides.

On CARPOOL’s first night, 36 free rides were given. Now, 15 years later, the “lime green family” provides an average of 650 rides per weekend.
CARPOOL was created in 1999 as a way to help prevent drunk driving by giving students free car rides. At last count on Oct. 6, Mary Monday, director of public relations for CARPOOL and industrial distribution senior, said the organization consists of 250 members and has given 229,533 free, safe and non-judgmental rides.
“Every time I think of the number of rides that we have given, I am truly in awe,” Monday said. “That’s filling up Kyle Field over two times. It makes me so proud of how far we have come and excited for the many years to come.”
Jake Ingle, chair of CARPOOL, said CARPOOL service is completely confidential.
“I originally got into CARPOOL because I was looking for an organization that I felt made an impact on the community,” Ingle said. “I loved that CARPOOL is an organization that every weekend goes out into the community and does something good for other people.”
Monday said the organization was started by Jeff Schiefelbein, Class of 2000, after he was charged with a DWI in 1998. Monday said Schiefelbein had to attend various community service and victims’ impact panels.
“On one of the panels, he was really moved by this one story in particular about a woman whose daughter was killed in a drunk driving accident, and he was so moved by that that he wanted to start something that would help eliminate that and never have someone go through that again,” Monday said.
Although the CARPOOL culture and size has changed dramatically, the vision, mission and values remain the same, said Keely Middleton, management junior and director of Safe Rides Program United, a nationwide program that CARPOOL claims membership to.
“We are dedicated to creating a welcoming, diverse and friendly atmosphere for our members and patrons alike,” Middleton said.
When the program started, volunteers worked out of Schiefelbein’s apartment. Now, CARPOOL has an office location off campus to house drivers and keep them focused throughout the night.
“I feel so honored to be a part of an organization that has made such an impact on so many people both locally and nationally,” Middleton said. “It also makes me excited for the next 15 years when CARPOOL can keep on growing and keep giving even more safe rides home.”
Despite the growth, Ingle said breaking the 225,000 mark is not enough.
“We love that that many people have made the decision to get a safe ride home but we’re always striving to do better,” Ingle said. “The more people we take home, the more lives we are saving. Whether that be the life of a patron who is in our car or someone else on the street who is now safer because there is one less drunk driver on the street.”

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