University of Oregon students now have another option for getting home at night.
This month, the UO Campus Shuttle was created by the UO Police Department and student volunteers. It is a free shuttle for students. The shuttle runs on a route similar to a bus, and students, faculty and staff members can wait at the set stops to be picked up. A UO ID is required to ride.
The vans are easily recognizable due to the Christmas lights and magnetic signs on the two vans. The shuttle runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. They follow a route with 11 stops.
(Photo courtesy of UO Campus Shuttle)
A – UO Parking and Transportation
B – 2125 Franklin
C – Jaqua Academic Center
D – Columbia 150
E – Lillis Business Complex
F – Riley Hall
G – Knight Library
H – HEDCO
I – McArthur Court
J – Student REC
K – Global Scholars Hall
The UO Campus Shuttle was created to help alleviate Safe Ride and the Designated Driver Shuttle, which are ride options that already exist for students. Like Safe Ride and DDS, the UO campus shuttle is a part of UOPD.
The shuttle is funded by the Division of Student Life and UOPD, while Safe Ride and DDS use student funds to operate.
“Safe Ride and DDS are doing a great job and are very popular programs. But there just isn’t the current capacity to serve everyone who needs a ride, and not all potential riders will choose to use a call-ahead service,” UOPD spokesman Kelly McIver wrote in a statement.
According to Safe Ride data, 6,361 students were turned away in the 2016-17 school year because Safe Ride was overbooked.
The shuttle is in a trial period at this time, according to McIver, and if it is found to be useful and operable, it will be launched officially in the fall of 2018.
Kylan Carlson, UO senior and assistant to UOPD Chief Michael Carmichael, said that, just like Safe Ride and DDS, students can ride without fear of getting in trouble. The shuttle’s staff are not mandatory reporters, and they are not required to report underage drinking.
“We don’t care if you’re underage or if you’re drinking, but you can’t have an open container,” Carlson said.
In its nine days of operation, the shuttle has provided 394 rides to students, faculty and staff according to Carlson.
While the drivers are paid positions, navigators are volunteers. They help make sure that riders and the driver are safe and that the bus stays on route.
In a statement to The Emerald, organizers of the shuttle wrote, “UO Campus Shuttle is looking for those who don’t mind working late and enjoy talking to people, as well as those who want to help make our campus a better place to live, work and study.”
More information about the route and hours can be found on the shuttle’s Facebook page.