Now would be an unfortunate time to misplace your student identification (ID) before taking the Miami Metro uptown.
Due to recent intoxication and inappropriate behavior on the Miami Metro Blue Route, students will be asked to present their ID, and might be sitting next to a Miami University policeman on their way.
Vanessa Cummings, assistant director of parking and transportation service and liaison to the bus service, has received reports of disorderly conduct on the buses.
“We had repeated problems with students being on the buses that were intoxicated and behaving inappropriately,” Cummings said. “It began to become more and more problematic, and a safety issue as well.”
Cummings said students were getting on the bus drunk, bringing drinks on the buses, being loud and bus drivers were being verbally harassed. The problems began last semester, and when this semester started off the same way, Cummings took action.
“Not the majority of the students, but you have to protect all the students,” Cummings said. “If one creates a problem, it endangers everybody on the bus.”
Cummings contacted the Office of Residence Life and tried to contact each of the hall advisers about the problem.
Phoebe Smith, graduate resident director in McKee Hall, sent an e-mail to her residents Saturday evening about the problem. She said she knew of underage drinking, but not problems on the buses prior to the e-mail.
“I knew there were some issues in regards to illegal consumption of alcohol, but I wasn’t aware of problems (on the buses) until I received the e-mail,” Smith said.
Cummings said all students would be asked to present their IDs regardless of where they live.
“It’s probably going to be primarily in the evenings … again depends on how things are rolling,” Cummings said. “How far we have to go depends on the students. It’s really in the students’ hand at this point.”
First-year Joe Horine did not ride, but said students were carded Friday evening in front of Morris Hall getting on the Miami Metro.
“Apparently last Friday night a bunch of people got carded trying to get on the bus,” Horine said. “Saturday we tried to get on the bus, and none of us got carded.”
Captain Jason Willis of Miami University Police said they were asked to help monitor the problem.
“We are working closely with the transportation office because of some complaints of disorderly behavior about alcohol behavior on the buses, particularly the Blue Route,” Willis said. “(We) agreed to ride the Blue Route and moderate the disorderly behavior.”
Willis said officers would be riding the buses.
“We’re going to be monitoring in several different ways. It could be in plain clothes, it could be in uniform, it could be just having officers in the area of the bus stops and things like that,”Willis said.
Cummings rode the bus during the fall semester and students admitted to being drunk after they got on the bus. The driver told the students to let them know if they were going to be sick, and they would exit the bus.
“What we’re doing is taking a precaution, we’ve stepped up our monitoring and monitor more closely and held them responsible,” Cummings said.
The Miami Metro Blue Route travels the perimeter of the campus in Oxford. The map can be viewed at http://www.hdg.muohio.edu/ParkingAndTransportation/images/MetroRouteMap.pdf.