University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

Bus Service to Offer
Late-Night Weekend Service

 MAILED:  Sept. 26, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — Eau Claire Transit hopes to expand its bus services into the evening and early morning hours during the weekends this winter and spring, providing University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and community members with additional options for safe travel to and from late-night events and activities around Eau Claire.

“The campus community and local business owners have requested that we provide late-night bus service on Fridays and Saturdays, giving students and community members more opportunities to enjoy late-night entertainment, and to provide safe transportation during those weekend hours,” said Sarah Harvieux, a health educator for UW-Eau Claire’s Health Services.

If approved by the Eau Claire City Council in November, the pilot project would expand bus service to 3 a.m. on the weekends beginning Jan. 30, 2004, and ending March 20, 2004. City buses currently provide services until 11 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

“This gives students and others in the community additional opportunities to enjoy activities such as later movies, shopping, browsing at bookstores, dining and enjoying music in local cafes,” Harvieux said. “With the current bus schedule, students must arrange their own transportation if they want to see a late movie at Oakwood Mall or visit Borders on a Saturday night.”

The expanded service also will help address concerns about impaired drivers, Harvieux said. And safe late-night transportation will reduce the risk of sexual and physical assaults and other violent crime, she said.

“In addition, it should reduce problems such as damage to property that homeowners say regularly occurs when intoxicated students wander through their neighborhoods on their way home from the bars,” Harvieux said.

Two routes will be offered during the late-night weekend hours, with one serving the lower campus, Water Street and Barstow Street areas, and the other serving the upper campus, hotels and Oakwood Mall areas.

“Students have been the driving force behind this project, taking a leadership role from the very beginning,” Harvieux said. “Members of the Student Senate and United Hall Council, in particular, have worked hard to move this project forward. I, other members of UW-Eau Claire staff and community members got involved after the students expressed an interest in having these services and a willingness to help implement the project.”

The pilot project will cost about $14,000, with funding coming from a UW-Eau Claire Student Senate special allocation and private donations from area businesses.

Harvieux said the university is modeling its pilot late-night bus service after a similar program in La Crosse.

“La Crosse has had its late-night service for several years and they’re quite pleased with how it’s working,” Harvieux said. “We’re optimistic that we also can provide a weekend service that will help meet the needs of our students as well as the community.”

-30-
JB


UW-Eau Claire Home

Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.

 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: October 13, 2003