Though Central Student Government previously announced plans to discontinue the Night Owl bus route, the body announced Wednesday that the service will continue.

As of last semester, CSG and the Interfraternity Council funded the Night Owl as a pilot program, each contributing $15,000 and hoping the University would assume responsibility for sustaining the program’s funding. In December, CSG said the University had not secured long-term funding.

University Parking and Transportation Services has committed to funding the service at least through the end of the semester.

The late-night bus route, established last year, was designed particularly for University students living off-campus.

CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, said that until Wednesday, CSG was under the impression the program would be discontinued, noting that CSG never intended to permanently run the program.

“The intent was always for the University to pick it up,” Dishell said. “We’re incredibly grateful that the budget for this year has been set and the University found a way to pick up the cost of this bus route.”

According to the CSG press release, Night Owl has transported 12,598 riders in the past year.

“That time period when Night Owl runs is the highest period for crime,” Dishell said. “The fact that the University has recognized that is saying ‘Hey, this is important to us, and we want to make sure that students get home safely.’ ”

A 2014 CSG release stated that 84 percent of University crime alerts occurred late at night, with 67 percent of incidents happening off-campus.

Steve Dolen, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services, said Night Owl is an underused transportation service and its utility will have to be further evaluated.

“The Oxford bus route is similar to Night Owl, but Night Owl has roughly 30 percent of the ridership of Oxford, and the Oxford bus route itself is lightly used,” he said.

Dolen also said Safe Ride is a viable alternative to Night Owl for late night off-campus transportation. The program is a free University ride service that transports students, faculty and staff to their homes or vehicles within one mile of campus.

“Off-campus is broadly defined,” Dolen said. “Night Owl does not touch that much of the off-campus neighborhoods.”

Though it has only been confirmed that Night Owl will operate this semester, both Dishell and CSG Vice President Emily Lustig, a LSA senior, hope the service will expand and continue to run following the end of this semester.

“We’d like to expand it up into the North Campus area and serve those students,” Lustig said. “That’s a lot of the feedback we’ve been given, but unfortunately that doubles, or more, the budget and time. Eventually, in the coming years that would be the ultimate goal — to really reach all of the off-campus population.”

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