It has been almost two years since UR discontinued the practice of providing buses to transport students from campus to bars around downtown Rochester. For the sake of student safety, UR should seek to re-establish operation of these bar buses.

At the programs inception, the primary purpose for the implementation of bar buses was not for the convenience of bar-goers, but rather, student safety. In an effort to curb intoxicated and drunk driving by students to and from bars, UR provided this alternative safe and free form of transportation.

Unfortunately, the termination of this service places students at risk once again. Forced to find their own way to the bars downtown, many students often must decide between potentially dangerous and exorbitantly expensive transportation choices. Quite a few students are discontent with the high prices charged by cabs transporting them to and from bars. “It’s absolutely ridiculous… I don’t have an extra $20 every weekend to spend on a cab”, said sophomore Noah Wilson. Short on extra cash, many students must turn to questionable arrangements such as driving themselves, or catching a ride with another student who may or may not be sober. “I’ve definitely rode in a car driven by my friend who’s had a few drinks before”, said a junior who preferred to remain anonymous. While this behavior is incredibly troubling, it is not the only repercussion the result of the absence of bar buses.

The evolving campus social scene has only exacerbated the risks that students face. When the bar buses were being operated by UR, students had a relatively safe option to travel downtown to controlled establishments if the on-campus party scene was unappealing. As many students can attest to, the area in and around the major bars in Rochester are heavily patrolled by the Rochester Police Department, offering a blanket of security for students venturing to the bars. With the stoppage of the bar buses, students no longer have an easy alternative to travel to bars downtown when the on-campus party scene is unappealing. As a result, other more hazardous options have become more attractive to students searching for nightlife off-campus. 

“My hall all goes over to Chi Phi on the weekends when we can’t get in on the Frat Quad” freshman Samantha Moore Droves said. 

As the frequent Public Safety updates warning of student robberies and assaults can support, this type of behavior by intoxicated college students will inevitably place undergraduates at risk.

Bar buses may have been discontinued to discourage and curb excessive drinking by students, but UR must understand that the consequences of their actions place students at greater risk. In the interest of safety, we hope that UR promptly resumes operation of bar buses before any significant harm can come of any student.

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