Marisa Schnaith

Changes to the Nighttime Door-to-Door service include mandating students swipe their IDs upon boarding.

The Miami University Parking and Transportation Services have announced its plan to begin implementing a few changes to the Nighttime Door-to-Door service currently provided by the university.

These changes include requiring students to have their Miami ID with them when boarding the van, as well as attempting to utilize the Blue Route as a supplemental nighttime service.

According to Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services Vanessa Cummings, the Nighttime Door-to-Door van will soon be requiring students to have their picture ID when riding. When this policy first goes into effect, the van drivers will likely accept any form of picture ID but Cummings suggested that in the future, riding the van might require swiping your Miami ID. Cummings was not sure how soon this policy would officially begin.

“Our goal right now is to get people in the process of realizing (that) when you call the service to have your ID with you,” she said.

This new policy has been created in response to a recommendation received by Parking Services regarding students’ safety on board the van.

“(The Nighttime Door-to-Door service) is a safe ride that’s provided and designed to transport one to two students who are riding alone,” Cummings said.

According to Cummings, this new policy will ensure that the riders are who they say they are, guaranteeing that the students who called are the ones being picked up. Though this has not been a big problem in the past, Cummings explained that this new policy would simply help to make the service more efficient.

A second option Cummings discussed that Parking Services is considering in order to make the Nighttime Door-to-Door service as effective as possible is to use the Blue Route bus as a secondary Nighttime Door-to-Door transportation. Cummings explained that students will still call the regular number for the van service and that this change will not divert the Blue Bus from its regular route, but would simply involve communication between the Nighttime Door-to-Door van driver and the driver of the Blue Route. If the van driver determines that a student who called is on the Blue Route and wants to be dropped off somewhere along the Blue Route, he or she will send the bus to pick them up instead.

According to Cummings this change to the Nighttime service will allow for a quicker pick up of students who are already on the Blue Route and will also provide transportation for larger groups of students.

“The bus is really there for the groups,” Cummings said. “The Nighttime Door-to-Door is for the individual riders.”

Miami junior Ryan Brady believes this change is a good idea.

“A greater number of students can take advantage of the safe rides Miami offers,” he said. “Using the Blue Route will mean better accessibility and greater availability of seating for students.”

Cummings said the Parking and Transportation Services will be putting out a survey soon regarding the Nighttime Door-to-Door and other Miami Metro services. The plan is to have the survey available online as well as on the buses with drop boxes to put them in. The survey will ask if people are willing to get together in a focus group to discuss how the Miami Metro services are doing. According to Cummings, no one came to the open house earlier in the semester, so this survey may be a more affective way to get student feedback.

“We want to know if it’s working,” Cummings said. “We want to get the students’ feedback.”