The Vermont Cynic

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Finding a safe ride home

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Finding a ride home from downtown Burlington late at night may become a little easier.

Junior Tyler Davis, SGA vice president, is planning a program that would provide students and other Burlington residents with free transportation on weekend evenings.

Expanding upon the late-night safety shuttle provided by UVM’s transportation and parking services, this program would be accessible to all members of the Burlington community and would have fewer route limitations, Davis said.

Some students said there should be more transportation options available for students who live outside of the late night safety shuttle route.

“I live in the North End, and it’s very inconvenient for me to get home late at night, especially when the closest I can get to my house is Pearl Street Beverage,” junior Lynden Prior said. “A program like this would not only make my life a lot easier, it would also make me feel a lot safer about living downtown.”

A similar program at the University of Wyoming served as a model for Davis’ plan.

Davis said he is working with Wendy Koenig, UVM’s federal relations director, to collect data and information  from Laramie, Wyoming, and determine the functionality of a late night transportation program in Burlington.

This program is still in its early stages, Davis said.

“It’s not something that’s really going to get a lot of funding for a couple of years until the budget situation changes,” he said.

“It just has to do with the federal government and how much they’re putting constraints on the state,” Davis said.

Davis’ ultimate goal is to implement a program that could be used as a safety tool for residents of the city.

“What I was really looking into was not something that’s solely for students, it’s really for people in Burlington in general,” Davis said.

“I live in the North End, and it’s very inconvenient for me to get home late at night, especially when the closest I can get to my house is Pearl Street Beverage,” junior Lynden Prior said. “A program like this would not only make my life a lot easier, it would also make me feel a lot safer about living downtown.”

This program is still in its early stages, Davis said.

He is currently reaching out to the Burlington Police Department to analyze DUI and public intoxication arrests records and understand determine how many of those alcohol-related arrests were students, Davis said.

Sophomore Erin Okrant,  sees an alternate use for the program.

“Transportation in Burlington may seem very accessible to some residents, but we need to take into account residents who work odd hours downtown, such as bartenders or other late-night employees,” Okrant said. “It would be efficient if we could get a later bus schedule to accommodate residents with late night jobs so that they are receiving the same care in our community.”

Though still a work in progress, a program like this could change the face of late-night transportation in Burlington.

“I think this program is a great idea,” student Sandy Halbing said.

“It obviously gets extremely cold here in the winter, and I think that this would not only be good for citizens to get home safe after a night out, but also to combat against walking at night in harsh conditions.”

About the Writer
Bryan O'Keefe, Former Managing Editor
Bryan is the managing editor of the Vermont Cynic and has been involved since Jan. 2015. Prior to his position as managing editor, he was a news writer and the assistant news editor from 2015-2016.
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Finding a safe ride home