University of Wisconsin-Madison students cramming for final exams this week will be able to use a shuttle van service to get home safely from the library at night.
Campus officials on Wednesday announced a pilot van shuttle program from College Library to seven dorms, running on the half-hour from midnight to 6 a.m., the Daily Cardinal reported.
The shuttle is campus administrators’ response to students’ safety concerns following a brutal assault and attempted abduction of a student walking home from College Library in the early hours of Oct. 2. A suspect in that case is awaiting trial.
College Library, at the corner of North Park Street and Observatory Drive, is a popular undergraduate study space. It is open 24-hours on weekdays, and attracts hundreds during late-night hours.
“During the regular semester, the nightly average at 3 a.m. is between 50-60 students, but during finals, nearly 500 students can be found studying at that hour,” Carrie Kruse, director of College Library, said in a release announcing the shuttle. “There is clearly enough demand during finals to offer this service and we know students will make good use of it and be very appreciative.”
According to a statement from the Division of Student Life, the pilot program is meant to “supplement and combine with other late travel options,” such as campus volunteer SAFEwalk program and city of Madison Metro buses that are not available to students at all hours of the night.
Two campus agencies, Student Life, and Transportation Services, are funding the pilot shuttle program. Transportation services director Patrick Kass said he was pleased to collaborate with College Library and the Division of Student Life on it. “In a busy and stressful time like finals week, we’re happy to connect students with easier access to late-night studying at College Library.”
Use and success of the program will help determine next steps, campus officials said.