Weekend buses must be expanded

The University of Connecticut’s Transportation Services currently shuts down the weekend shuttle at 12 a.m. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut operates seven main bus lines during weekdays. On Saturday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., the university operates the “Weekend Shuttle.” Though this shuttle provides an accessible form of mass transportation for students during weekends, ceasing service of the standard lines on Saturday and Sunday severely limits the ability for students to traverse the extensive Storrs campus. Moving forward, the university must consider extending service for the most crucial bus lines through the weekend.

UConn’s Storrs campus sits on 4,093 acres, with thousands of students living off campus and in the numerous on-campus housing options. During weekdays, students can cross the entire campus with relative ease due to the design of the campus bus system. While these buses are crucial during weekdays to attend class, they are just as vital on weekends.

Students often visit off campus residences during the weekends, either walking across campus, finding a sober ride or using a ride-hailing service, such as Uber. Walking poses certain inconveniences, and potential hazards. Environmental hazards are exacerbated during the bitter nights common during winter months.

Sober rides, as well as ride-hailing services, can be costly, and promote rushed and dangerous driving. Beyond this aspect, students must also rely on some form of communication; with phone batteries often dying after a night out, this is not a necessarily reliable form of transportation.

UConn buses would provide the most desirable and consistent form of transportation for students on weekends. Though this would certainly add a new operating cost for the university, diverting funds toward a massive improvement of student safety and convenience will be welcomed by students and faculty alike.

Weekend buses will also provide needed service for students during the daylight hours on weekends. Students often require transport to the library or research laboratories on the weekends. If students are without a vehicle of their own, a weekend bus would provide the only dependable alternative.

While the university must address cost overruns and needed budget cuts throughout the year, there are some services which require an increase in expenditure. Operating buses throughout the weekend would be a welcomed improvement to student quality of life, and would go a long way toward making the expansive Storrs campus more accessible for all.