A Red Cross program that offers "safe rides" to intoxicated teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights will end Sept. 5 due to lack of funding and dwindling volunteer power.
Sponsors of the Safe Ride Program -- launched in 1984 after a 17-year-old Palo Alto student died in a drunk-driving-related accident the previous year -- said they hope the service will be picked up by another agency.
Safe Ride used student and adult volunteers to field calls and provide free, confidential rides to teens who called in between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
"It remains our hope to transfer responsibility to another agency whose mission more closely aligns with Safe Ride," said Barb Larkin, CEO of American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter.
"We are proud to have partnered with teams from nine extraordinary high schools who worked tirelessly to support the Safe Ride program over the last 27 years."
Safe Ride reportedly was launched by students from Palo Alto and Gunn high schools after 17-year-old Paly student Scott Safreed was killed May 29, 1983 in an Embarcadero Road accident with a 16-year-old drunk driver.
Most recently, schools participating in the program were Castilleja, Gunn, Los Altos High School, Menlo School, Summit Preparatory High School, Mountain View High School, Menlo-Atherton High School, Sacred Heart School and Woodside High School.
The program operated during the academic year, but organizers recently had experienced difficulty filling volunteer shifts, Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said Friday.
Safe Ride provided more than 200 rides last year, Shaw said. In 2007-08, the program provided 633 rides.