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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CatTran to operate at night

    A new shuttle will cruise the campus at night this semester due to the large population of nighttime pedestrians, adding an alternative to SafeRide.

    The NightCat, a free service for UA students and employees and a subsidiary of CatTran, was created in response to the high demand by students staying late on campus. The service will operate every half hour.

    “”We design our bus services by the needs of our riders,”” said David Heineking, associate director of operations at Parking and Transportation Services. “”I think there is a great demand for this on campus.””

    Peter Reifsteck, operations director of SafeRide, a campus escort service that also operates at night, said he is optimistic about the new NightCat shuttle and feels that the two services will work together cooperatively. SafeRide is a program of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    The added shuttle will allow SafeRide to get more students off campus and focus on student safety, Riefsteck said.

    “”We still think we will have the considerable amount of business that we already have,”” Reifsteck said.

    PTS officials wanted to hit most of the residence halls and high activity spots while keeping the service time at every half hour, Heineking said.

    Amanda Brobbel, a doctoral student in literature, says having a service like the NightCat on campus is useful.

    “”I’m a Ph.D. student, so I’m in the dissertation stage, and I sometimes go to the library and stay in my cubicle till late at night,”” Brobbel said.

    The La Aldea resident said she knows several medical students who live in her complex that would benefit from having the shuttle from UMC.

    J.J. Schmidt, a pre-business freshman, said he thinks he will use the NightCat to get back to Coronado Residence Hall from the Student Recreation Center after working out in the evening.

    The Rec Center is open until midnight Monday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Fridays. The NightCat will stop just north of the Rec Center, near the Highland Commons, starting at 6:20 p.m. and continuing until 12:20 a.m.

    Jennifer Loder, a biology freshman, said she is not sure if she will use the service.

    However, Cindy Loder, Jennifer Loder’s mother, said she would recommend that her daughter jump on the shuttle if she moves across campus late at night.

    University of Arizona Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Eugene Mejia said he strongly advocates escort and shuttle services for safety and as a crime prevention tool.

    According to the UAPD Web site, there were 44 campus assaults in 2005.

    The NightCat may also become an option for students who do not want to call an escort service, Mejia said.

    The shuttle service will operate at no additional cost since funds were reallocated from CatTran, Heineking said. CatTran eliminated two routes last year.

    The NightCat will stop at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, Highland Garage, Student Union Memorial Center, Coronado Residence Hall, Park Student Union, Highland Commons/ Student Recreation Center, Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall, the Main Library, Steward Observatory and the “”Swede”” Johnson building. The shuttle will operate from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

    Like the CatTran, the NightCat is wheelchair accessible, Heineking said.

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