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Archive for Sunday, July 29, 2012

SafeBus adjusting services to meet demand

July 29, 2012

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As ridership continues to grow, Kansas University is adding a route to its SafeBus system and increasing the frequency of downtown pickups.

The buses operate during the school year on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m., said Marcus Tetwiler, a KU junior from Paola and the KU on Wheels transportation coordinator.

The SafeBus service is designed to give students a safe ride home from the downtown area, Tetwiler said. Students can ride for free with a KU ID card, and they can have one guest.

The bus route will add a route running from downtown to Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive for the next school year, expanding the number of apartment complexes that the service reaches.

It already has routes running from downtown to campus and to 31st and Iowa streets.

The routes will be reorganized and there will be more pickups at 14th and Tennessee streets, Tetwiler said. Pickups will be every 10 minutes at that location instead of every 30.

Tetwiler said the service wasn’t necessarily intended just for drunken people, and he hoped more frequent bus stops would cut down on crowds.

“Riders aren’t going to feel as comfortable getting on the buses if it’s jam-packed and it’s kind of an ‘Animal House’ atmosphere,” he said.

When the program started in the 2007-08 year, it had just more than 10,377 riders, according to data from Margretta de Vries, an administrative professional at the KU Parking Department. In 2011-12, that figure had grown to more than 76,000.

“It’s definitely demand-based,” Tetwiler said.

Comments

Alceste 2 years, 4 months ago

So, bottom line: KU endorses drunken students and provides free transportation for them.

Excellent. Wondeful use of tax payer money. Let's see yet another tuition hike for the 2013/2014 school year to further subsidize this endorsement. Don't hate the player....hate the game....right?!

Richard Crank 2 years, 4 months ago

I believe KU On Wheels is fully funded by student fees, not "taxpayer money" and the amount of student fees is determined by students themselves, either through the Student Senate or, in some cases, directly by referendum.

JayCat_67 2 years, 4 months ago

Student to self: "Golly, I was going to stay home and study this evening. But, since KU is providing a free bus service, I think I'll go get wasted instead."

Yep, I'm sure that's how it works.

Hoots 2 years, 4 months ago

Some people around here must love foot flavor.

lunacydetector 2 years, 4 months ago

didn't the last sales tax increase pay for this?

jhawkpb23 2 years, 4 months ago

KU on Wheels is fully funded by student fees, so cool your jets, Alceste.

JayCat_67 2 years, 4 months ago

And you never know... even if you don't ride it yourself, perhaps that drunken student that would have plowed into you while you cross the street is, instead, on that bus. No, you don't have to actually ride to benefit.

Hoots 2 years, 4 months ago

Well over 2 million rides for KU on Wheels last year. Yeah, no one uses it.

KUonWheels 2 years, 4 months ago

The University of Kansas student fee for SafeRide and SafeBus will be $16.30/semester for the 2012-2013 academic year.

The SafeRide program has existed for almost 40 years, giving safe rides home to any student from anywhere in the city limits, including the library! Generally, we provide around 20,000 rides per year on SafeRide. SafeBus was added in 2007-2008 in order to provide more rides home more efficiently, providing a fixed route to our highest-demand locations. As the article states, the ridership has grown significantly since 2007!

As a student-funded and student-run service, our goal is to use the funds allocated by Student Senate as efficiently as possible! Many of the changes we are making this year were accomplished by simply reworking the existing routes, with the increased fee going to the cost of fuel and the new route.

Summer SafeRide has ended, but both SafeRide and SafeBus will start back up on August 17. We are looking forward to another great year, and will continue to look for more ways to improve the system.

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