MTD features additional SafeRides Service this year at University students’ requests

With the record-high number of passengers buses carried last fiscal year, the Champaign-Urbana

Mass Transit District is expanding its services in response to community needs.

The changes include adding more buses to football games, improving bus stops and expanding SafeRides’ services, marketing director Jan Kijowski said.

Saferides is now available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and during fall, winter and spring breaks.

The results of a student referendum held in March 2012 supported an increased fee to fund additional services for “SafeRides”:

Kijowski said focus meetings and town-hall meetings held last spring and over summer also showed students’ desire for more SafeRides.

Jim Maskeri, student representative to the CUMTD board of trustees, was heavily involved in the process of increasing the transportation fee.

“I think the students really appreciate the increase of the service … and they also want to support the additional safety on campus,” Maskeri said. “I mean, I personally believe that SafeRides is a very vital service to keep students safe on campus.”

Maskeri said additional SafeRides during breaks benefit international and graduate students the most. Because these students are often unable to go home during breaks, it is important to make sure that they are safe on campus, he said.

Chong Gu, sophomore in ACES, said she had a chance to use SafeRides last year but was unsatisfied with how long it took for the van to come.

Gu said she hopes the increased services will help reduce that waiting period in the future.

“I like that (CUMTD is increasing its SafeRides services),” Gu said. “I just hope it can come faster (next time).”

_Zike can be reached at [email protected]_