Starting May 8, the Student Assembly will operate a free, late-night shuttle between libraries and student dorms for the duration of study week.
Using an 11-passenger van, the service will run between 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. along the same route as the TCAT's Blue Light Bus Service Routes 92 and 93. While the TCAT routes operate hourly, the shuttle will supplement these routes to allow more opportunities for students to catch a ride.
Natalie Raps ’12, Student Assembly vice president of public relations and incoming S.A. president, said that the program is the first of its kind at Cornell. Depending on the success of the study week shuttles, the vans may continue in the future, she said.
“Hopefully, it will turn into something that can be used for the entire semester,” she said. “It was a huge undertaking, and we wanted to start smaller.”
According to Raps, one of the main goals of the service — which developed in collaboration with the Women’s Resource Center — is to increase campus safety for students.
“During study week, most students are on campus until [2 a.m.] or pretty late, and it can get scary when it’s dark,” she said.
Raps encouraged students to take advantage of the service and to show support so that it may continue.
“We really need to get the numbers to show that there’s interest to get it established for future study weeks,” she said.
Raps said Prof. Isaac Kramnick, government, inspired her to pursue late night transportation options. Raps introduced the idea in her campaign for freshman representative in 2008.
For three years, Raps gained support for her idea but also faced “a lot of problems and ‘Big Red Tape,’” she said.
This year the call for late night shuttles got an extra boost due to support from Joe Lalley at transportation services, Raps said.
Allie Blank ’14, who said she spends most nights studying on North Campus to avoid the walk back, also praised the shuttle service.
“It’s a good motivation to stay in the library and not have to worry about finding somebody to walk back with at night,” Blank said.
Niajee Washington ’13 supported the idea, but said there was room for improvement.
“If they really wanted to help, I would suggest using the escorts, not adding buses that go the same routes as the TCAT,” Washington said. “What would really make a difference is extending the hours of the Blue Light Escorts past 2 a.m. Later in the morning is when someone may really feel the need to use an escort, and I know of many universities that have escorts available 24/7.”