In an effort to decrease the number of students walking home alone at night, the Undergraduate Student Government is considering a resolution that would push for longer operating hours for Campus Cruiser.
Many students have voiced concerns about Campus Cruiser’s hours; Cruiser currently runs from 5 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. on the University Park Campus and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Health Sciences Campus.
Dawan Robinson, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering who worked as a Campus Cruiser driver during his freshman and sophomore years, said he has experienced instances when he was off campus and would have liked to use a Campus Cruiser, only to realize it was past 3 a.m.
“I’ve been in a conversation with friends, not looking at the time very well, and I wish I could use Campus Cruiser because I’m pretty far away and don’t want to walk,” Robinson said. “On those occasions, the extra time would be very useful.”
USG began looking into the issue last semester, when a survey of presidents and vice presidents of student organizations revealed 87 percent of those surveyed felt Campus Cruiser service could run later into the night, especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Based on the survey and other research, Helen Moser, USG’s director of campus affairs, and Wilson Kyi, a residential senator, have drafted a resolution recommending the extension of Campus Cruiser’s hours until at least 3:45 a.m. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the resolution Tuesday.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while, and to move forward. We felt we needed an official document letting the administration know this is what we want,” Kyi said.
Moser said the initial presentation cited schools such as Yale, Berkeley and the University of Chicago as models.
“You look at these schools, some of which are in neighborhoods similar to ours, with programs similar to ours, but some of them run 24 hours, or maybe an hour later than ours does,” Moser said.
Tony Mazza, director of USC Transportation, noted that there are options for students looking for a ride after 3 a.m. These options include the trams, which run 24 hours Monday through Friday, and the Leavey Library shuttle, which offers rides from Leavey.
“Students can also call [the Department of Public Safety] to schedule a ride from the Leavey Library driver or contact Yellow Cab,” Mazza wrote in an e-mail.
Mazza said USC Transportation has been considering offering Cruiser service later into the night, but that it could put a strain on Cruiser drivers, all of whom are students.
“We have been looking at creating some kind of on-demand service for students after 2:45 [a.m.], yet we don’t want to encourage students staying out after 3 a.m.,” Mazza wrote. “The reality is it is hard to find students who want to work from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Our Leavey Library shuttle shifts are the most difficult shifts to fill.”
Still, Robinson said that based on his time as a Cruiser driver, he is not sure this would be an issue.
“They already have student workers who work past 3 o’clock, anyway,” he said. “And the only thing I can think of as a drawback are students who have class at 8 a.m., but those aren’t the students who would sign up to work that shift.”
Beyond extending hours, many students say they would like to see further revisions to the program.
“I’ve called, and it wasn’t too late — I just couldn’t get a cruiser,” said Blake Davidson, a freshman. “It was a Thursday night, and the wait time was like an hour and a half. So I just ended up walking. They should have a cancellation option, so if someone decides they don’t need a cruiser, the cruiser doesn’t still show up instead of picking up someone else.”
Heather Ritchie, a freshman majoring in theatre, said she would like to see Cruiser offer service to more locations.
“I would revise the places they offer services to,” she said. “They refuse to take people to New-North because it’s on a tram stop, but that’s one of the biggest freshman dorms.”
In addition to its desire to represent the concerns of students, USG is seeking to alleviate the stress imposed on DPS officers, who are often obligated to escort students once Cruiser shuts down for the night.
Moser said the resolution, if passed, will mark the first step in what she sees as an ongoing process to streamline the late-night service offered to USC students.
“If this is successful, and if students communicate that they want more later on, we might push for more hours,” Moser said. “The point of this resolution is to really show that we support this as USG, and it’s also something students support.”