NightRide changes shifts, picks up more riders


NightRide - Students board the Nightride West Shuttle near the IMA. The Nightride now runs Monday through Friday as opposed to last year’s Sunday through Thursday. Photo by Matt Toles

Earlier this quarter, UW NightRide reworked its schedule to run Monday through Friday, as opposed to Sunday through Thursday. Since then, the program has seen a significant increase in riders.

About 30 percent more students use the service, which is provided through UW Transportation Services, on Friday nights than on Sunday nights.

“So far the changes are going really well,” said Josh Kavanagh, the UW Transportation Services Director. “We seem to be serving a lot more students.”

Kavanagh said Transportation Services made the changes so that NightRide would better mesh with NightWalk, a program offered by the UW Police Department (UWPD). UWPD Cmdr. Steve Rittereiser said his department noticed a large increase in NightWalk usage on nights when NightRide wasn’t running.

“We’ve been working together to determine the best ways to coordinate our services,” Rittereiser said.

He also said that students frequently use the two services, so UWPD and Transportation Services are working on publicizing what each program does. NightRide picks up students from six locations on campus and drops them off at any location within a mile of campus. The service operates from 8 p.m.-midnight and is funded by the U-PASS fee.

NightWalk operates seven days a week from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Uniformed security officers escort students on foot between any two locations on campus — including bus stops. NightWalk is funded by the SafeCampus program.

“We’re not changing NightWalk at all, but we do want to make sure people know about the services we’re offering,” Rittereiser said.

U-PASS Advisory Board Chair Melanie Mayock said she was comfortable with the decision, which was made based on UWPD and Transportation Services data.

“I think we ended up making the best decision for students,” she said.

Kavanagh said he expects the NightRide and NightWalk programs to continue to grow, especially with students onboard.

“This was definitively a collaborative effort between multiple groups, and we’re really happy with how things are turning out,” Kavanagh said. “And we’re hoping to get even more riders in the future.”

Reach reporter Amelia Dickson at news@dailyuw.com.
Twitter: @AmeliaDickson

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