LSU freshmen create free rideshare app for female students

Two LSU students create a free rideshare service to make sure girls have a way out of an uncomfortable situation.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Two LSU students create a free rideshare service to make sure girls have a way out of an uncomfortable situation.

Freshmen LSU students, Alisha Ortolano and Caitlynn Bakewell, say no girl needs to be left behind. They created a free ride share service called, “LSU Girls Rides.”

“If a girl was too drunk, if a guy was making them uncomfortable, or honestly any situation where they feel uncomfortable because if you are uncomfortable and you feel like you need to get out, just text. We will find someone to come pick you up,” says Ortolano.

Women can request a ride through GroupMe, a texting app that sends group messages. All LSU Girls Rides drivers are female students. They will have someone available to pick up a woman in need no matter what the situation is, whether they are at a bar, hanging out with a group of people, or if they cannot find or pay for a ride home.

“So me, personally, I have been in Ubers before and I’ve been really uncomfortable, so we want to avoid that,” adds Ortolano.

The students created the service after learning what happened to LSU student Madison Brooks. Police say Brooks was at a bar in Tigerland, before she left with four guys she had just met. Arrest report shows two of the guys she was with admitted they had sex with Madison.

Her blood alcohol results showed she was more than four times the legal limit. Police charged two of the guys with 3rd degree rape, citing her inability to give consent. Investigators say they dropped Brooks off in a neighborhood. She eventually ended up in the middle of Burbank Drive, where she was hit by a car and died.

“I’ve also personally experienced being abandoned and not having a ride home. I was in a very vulnerable situation,” explains Bakewell.

In order to get into the group, they must use their LSU email. Since Monday, the group has grown to more than 600 people. Some LSU parents are part of the group, along with an EMT in case there is ever an emergency.

“Girls should always be supporting other girls; unfortunately, there are not going to be some that are, but it should be safe space, whether or not it’s just for rides. If girls need somebody to talk to, if something happens to them, they should always have somebody and know that they are not alone,” said Bakewell.

The ladies are also working with Southern University students, adding girls to the GroupMe if they are stuck around certain areas of LSU Campus.

RELATED STORY: Deputies arrest 4 in LSU student Madison Brooks case

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