Student ambassadors lend a hand on light rail

STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS: Parking and Transit Services is implementing a new program that will designate student transit ambassadors to help answer additional question from other students. (Photo by Chris Stark)

Students looking to get acquainted with the Metro Light Rail will soon have help through a pilot program developed by the Parking and Transit Services office.

Student transit ambassadors will help promote safety regulations and provide assistance to students who have additional questions, said Chelsea Chamberlain, administrative associate for Parking and Transit Services.

The Student Transit Ambassador program will run Monday through Thursday for the next two weeks.

PTS partnered with Metro Light Rail with the intent of acquiring experienced light rail riders to aid fellow students who might not be familiar with the light rail system, Chamberlain said.

The ambassadors, made up of student volunteers, will be manning three light rail stations on ASU’s Tempe and Downtown campuses.

The three stations include Central Avenue and Van Buren Street on the Downtown campus, along with Veterans Way and College Street and University Drive and Rural Road on the Tempe campus.

At least one station will have a student ambassador during peak hours, Chamberlain said in an e-mail.

The peak times are between 9 and 11 a.m., between noon and 2 p.m. and between 3 and 5 p.m.

The ambassador program is staffed by ASU students and PTS employees who volunteer for the position. Students are allowed to count their volunteer experience as community service hours.

“The reason why we offer community service hours is mainly because this is a community service project,” Chamberlain said.

PTS is trying to promote community interaction and foster the relationships among PTS, Metro and students, she said.

Criminal justice sophomore Joey Amonett is volunteering and has gone through the program’s training. He said he believes the program will be very beneficial for ASU students.

“So far, from the training, I can see how it’s going to be a good asset to the new students at Arizona State,” Amonett said.

Amonett said he is very experienced with the light rail from his time between the Downtown and Tempe campuses last semester.

“I rode the light rail pretty much every single day,” he said. “I knew I was familiar with it, and I knew it was something I could do.”

Journalism sophomore Kyle Allen, a transfer student from a community college in Washington, D.C., is new to the transit system.

“I have some classes [Downtown] and some classes in Tempe, so I was confused on what stop was closest to my building in Tempe,” Allen said. “I don’t really know what time to get there so I’m not wandering around in Tempe.”

Allen said that she believes the new program will be helpful.

PTS is still working on the schedule for when student ambassadors will be on each light rail station. They will have more ambassadors working once more students sign up for the position, Chamberlain said.

Reach the reporter at cottens@asu.edu