Saturday night group expanding safe rides Downtown – By Brooke Edwards

Their motto is ?Because getting home safely shouldn?t be a luxury.?

For more than two years, the Brooklyn-based nonprofit group RightRides for Women?s Safety has been giving free rides to women who feel unsafe traveling home alone. Now, they?re about to expand their services to the rest of Lower Manhattan, including the Lower West Side, from the Battery to 23rd St., and the area south of Chinatown.

RightRides was founded by friends Consuelo Ruybal and Oraia Reid, in response to a series of sexual assaults against females in Williamsburg during the summer of 2004. Their drivers have since given safe rides to more than 700 women and transgender persons, and they hope to double that number in the coming year. They also hope to increase the number of days of operation, since the service is currently available only in the early-morning hours after Saturday night, from midnight to 3 a.m.