Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What type of Shuttle system does the University need?

A reader has contributed the following post. It is particularly relevant in light of the University's pledge to assess and improve the SafeRide system:

...my fiancĂ©e told me about the Amadou Cisse’s shooting last night. Lev lives around 56th Street and South Cottage Grove and was mugged just after he moved in in September, and we’ve been in shock how dangerous the neighborhood is and how little the University does to protect students—especially graduate students, who tend of live on the edges of the campus neighborhood where it’s less safe and who also are more likely to work long hours.

What do you think we can do to encourage the University to create a better shuttle system to drop students off? I’m not talking about having a police officer walk you home, which few are inclined to do (and few males)—but a frequent, available service that students could rely on. All other universities I’ve been to have this.

In New York, where I live, we have a very successful non-profit called Right Rides (www.rightrides.org), where volunteers drive women home between 12-3 on Saturday nights. It goes a long way to create a sense of community and to make people feel safe. Maybe someone within the university could start some kind of volunteer program like this, and then the university would catch on and create a better shuttle service. In any case, it’s a good model for people to know about. I was also at Princeton recently where we took a shuttle where the driver/navigator were logging work-study hours, which also had a good feel because students were helping other students. Of course the University needs to step up to the plate here, but getting students involved in helping each other does the community psychological good.

If you know of any community meetings where people are discussing this, or if you know of people in the University administration we should be writing to, we’d really appreciate the info.

Feel free to post this on your blog if it’s helpful.


Two Hyde Park Residents


Anonymous said...

I have come to UChicago from Princeton and I have to say I could care less who drives the van (in fact having students drive the vans at Princeton means that they end up giving friends a lift... plus there's really no comparison between the safety at Princeton vs UChicago. Everyone at Princeton feels about as safe as anyone could feel walking around alone at night, even 3-4am. The vans are almost never taken for straight-out nighttime safety reasons--they're for convenience when getting home from the train station, when trying to get across campus with a large luggage load).

I don't care about community involvement in the shuttle service. It just needs to exist, be fast, accessible, and convenient.

Anonymous said...

If we have comments to make about UChicago's current nighttime safety system, who is the appropriate university rep to email? We constantly get emails from President Zimmer nowadays but there's never any mention of who we should be directing our comments to. Some of us really can't make the in-person meetings.