"Nite Ride" makes it safer for U of I students at night, expand - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Nite Ride" makes it safer for U of I students at night, expands hours

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The University Iowa Department of Safety is beginning their "Nite Ride" shift earlier each night, starting at 7 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.. Nite Ride is a program that offers safe ride home from campus for students and instructors during the late hours of the night until 6 a.m..

"Unfortunately there's always the risks of assaults happening. University campuses, people are out late walking around. I think it's a good thing to have when there's such a high density population," UI Security Supervisor, Beau Hartsock, said.

The department of safety first extended the hours just for last semester's finals week and winter break but decided to continue it into the new semester because of it's popularity.

"Obviously we noticed that there's a lot of people out at 7 p.m. when it does turn dark so a lot more people have been utilizing it earlier," Hartsock said.

Nite Ride first began only being for female drivers, but expanded to all genders at the beginning of the fall semester while also debuting an app. The app, Transloc Rider, allows riders to request a ride from their phone and to pinpoint their location.

The switch saw a large increase from 15,112 riders in the fall of 2015 to 16,575 just last fall.

"It has been utitulized by a lot of men. Obviously not as many as women but I think as this goes on, males will be utilizing this a lot more," Hartsock said.

A map of the Nite Ride boundaries can be found here.

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