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Missouri State University has added a new route to their Bear Line shuttle system. The pink route runs from 6 pm until 2 am on Friday and Saturday evenings, and provides students with a safe way to get downtown from campus on the weekends. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has details.
I’m walking toward downtown on South Kimbrough Avenue, just west of Missouri State University, around ten o’clock on a Thursday night. Before the pink route was established, this was a common path students took to get downtown on the weekends. But university officials felt this wasn’t safe for the students, so they created a new route that runs from the Plaster Student Union on campus, through Greek Row on Cherry and Elm Streets, to the downtown Park Central Square and back.
The pink route was started on a trial basis last January and ran through March. Because of positive feedback from both students and BearLine drivers, the university made it a permanent route this semester.
“It’s basically all for the safety.”
Earl Wall is the interim Transit Supervisor at MSU.
“I know a lot of students enjoy going out and enjoying nightlife that Springfield has to offer. There is a lot of it, it is pretty fun. In the past, we have seen a lot of students walking downtown or coming back early in the morning or late evening. So the pink route was initiated so they could get a ride back to campus instead of walking alone at those times of the night, early morning,” said Wall.
As the bus pulls up at the Scholars House dormitory on MSU’s campus, I climb onboard. Inside are about ten students, headed for downtown.
I ask the birthday girl, Kelly Teapole, what she thinks about the pink route.
“The buses are crowed, but the bus drivers are very nice. I like them. They are very polite,” said Teapole.
So far, the pink route has been busy. There were 283 passengers between 10pm and 2am during the last weekend of August, when the route first started running this semester.
Leigh Boone is a student at MSU and has ridden the Pink Route a few times.
“I think it’s a great resources for people because we all know that college students drink, and I think it’s a good resource to keep people safe, while hanging out with their friends,” Boone Said.
Only one bus travels the pink route, and it tries to make it to each stop every 20 minutes. However, the BearLine drivers are less worried about making time and more worried about student safety.
For more information about the new BearLine pink route, visit our website, KSMU.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.