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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student


Bloomington Transit to stop Night Owl bus service

Bloomington Bus Stop

As of Aug. 20, Bloomington Transit will stop its Night Owl bus service.

The service featured buses operating from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights along routes 6 and 9 during the fall and spring semesters at IU.

Lew May, the Bloomington Transit general manager, said in a Herald-Times article the service began during the 2009-2010 school year, and college students primarily took advantage of the routes. 

The Night Owl routes went through the IU campus and the east side of Bloomington.

However, Chuck Carney, IU director of media relations, said in an Indiana Public Media article there were 12,000 riders during the Night Owl service in the 2017-18 school year, compared to more than 42,000 riders when the program started in the 2009-2010 school year.

Carney said the IU student transportation board had the Night Owl service low on its priority list as well, according to Indiana Public Media.

“There were other things such as increasing the routes, the number of buses that run on the IU campus during weekdays so that students can get to class, and things like that there were higher on that list,” Carney said.

May also told the Herald-Times that for the past three years, Bloomington Transit requested IU increase revenue to support student transportation. He said the requests ranged from 1 to 2.5 percent each year, but IU declined the requests. 

While the Night Owl service with Bloomington Transit will be discontinued, IU will still continue to operate its own campus Night Owl service Friday and Saturday nights, according to Carney.

The campus service features routes going from Memorial Stadium to Third Street to Kirkwood Avenue.

IU Safety Escort also provides a seven-day-a-week option until 11:45 p.m. during the summer and 1:45 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters. The safety escort service can't be used for rides to a party or bar, but it can be used as a way to get home from those events.

To use the service, IU students, faculty and staff can call 812-855-SAFE or download the TapRide app.

Cameron Drummond

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