Three new routes and a shuttle service will provide UGA students extended late-night service to Milledge Avenue, Riverbend, East Campus, Family Housing, and Health Sciences Campus up until 1 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m on weekends.
In the twilight hours of its term, the Student Government Association’s 29th Administration, led by Houston Gaines, Jacob Fucetola and Sehar Ali, explored alternatives to night-time transportation at UGA. Along with the Office of Auxiliary Services and Transportation and Parking, SGA worked to propose three new night-time routes: Night Route 1, which replaces and expands Night East West; Night Route 2 Black, which serves as a route for Milledge Avenue and Health Sciences; and Night Route 2 Red, which reverses the direction of Night Route 2, Black after 1 a.m. Maps and details of these routes can be seen by clicking the links above.
One of the major reasons for redrawing the bus routes was a concern for student safety. By decreasing wait times between buses and offering extended service, SGA and UGA feel that they have addressed the problem to a consequential extent.
“Student safety is a top priority for our administration as it was for the previous administration,” current SGA Vice President Roya Naghepour said. “Extended wait times posed a threat to [student safety], specifically for night time passengers. Not only does this change exponentially mitigate risks for late-night riders, but it also makes better use of our university’s resources by ensuring the best possible service for student needs.”
After the unveiling of these new routes, controversy ensued due to the deletion of a route servicing South Milledge and Riverbend Parkway. Originally, this route was dissolved due to research that reflected low ridership. However, student feedback via emails and an open forum revealed the need to maintain the route.
As a result, SGA has collaborated with Transportation Services to establish a one-year Riverbend Express that will start at Soule Hall and will service South Milledge and Riverbend.
“SGA recommended the one-year solution in response to student concerns and expectations at the time of signing leases,” Naghepour said. “Many students based their decision to live in a certain location knowing campus accessibility would not be an issue. This should continue to be the case for students when considering their options for future years. During this time, UGA Auxiliary Services will be working with apartment complexes along Riverbend Parkway to create a solution for future years.”
While SGA’s initiative to re-work the bus routes signifies a desire for a more efficient campus, the addition of the Riverbend Express demonstrates the power of the student voice and SGA’s willingness to listen to important input.
To see full details of this transportation initiative, click here.
— Ethan Pender is a sophomore studying political science. He is a Cabinet member in Student Government Association and a regular contributor to The Arch Conservative.