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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Nite Cats needs extended hours

Nite+Cats+Hours+Illustration
Nite Cats Hours Illustration

When I began my first semester at Texas State, it was difficult balancing both schoolwork and social life. In an attempt to combine the two, I found studying with friends was a great solution. However, as I would walk home alone after a Friday night study session, I began to wonder if Nite Cats’ service hours were compatible with the schedule of a college student.
Nite Cats was created to provide students with on-demand transportation across campus. Students can request a ride from anywhere on campus through the app, Tap Ride. After inputting the precise pickup and drop-off location, a Nite Cat driver will arrive and take students to their requested destination.
While the service is extremely helpful in getting students around campus at night, Nite Cats’ hours and days of operation need to expand in order to better assist the needs of students.
Currently, the transportation service is active Monday-Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. as well as Sunday from 6-10 p.m. However, the service is unavailable on both Friday and Saturday.
When I first saw the hours of operation, I questioned the reasoning behind it. Given that most students I know who live on campus go out on the weekends, it raises a concern that such a great transportation resource would not accommodate students on Friday and Saturday nights.
Studies show 74% of students claimed that walking home in the dark was a massive concern for their personal safety. By extending its hours, Nite Cats could help relieve the stress of students feeling unsafe on campus throughout the entire week.
Beginning my first semester, the idea of coming into a completely new environment was scary and intimidating. I quickly became aware of the importance of prioritizing safety over everything else.
In San Marcos, violent crime has increased by 90.1% over the past 10 years. The increase in crime rates leads to concern for some students.
“Knowing the severity of crime in our area, I would definitely prefer to use Nite Cats rather than walking home alone,” Mia Phillips, a pre-nursing freshman, said.
Students should not have to put themselves at risk, simply trying to return to their dorms safely. It is important that students have access to these resources intended to keep them safe on both weekdays and weekends.
Not only does Nite Cats provide students with a safe option for late-night transportation, the service is a huge convenience for students as it allows them to request rides from any location on campus and quickly get to where they need to go.
Rather than solely relying on vans to travel, Nite Cats also uses golf carts to help transport its users. These golf carts are much more accommodating as they travel across sidewalks, ramps and crosswalks.
Although, with Nite Cats’ current operating hours, it is simply an inconvenience for students in need of a ride outside their current availability. Logically, it would make much more sense if the hours were extended through the weekend, in order to better match with students’ busy schedules.
Texas State’s Coordinator of Alternate Transportation Alex Vogt said Nite Cats’ schedule is coordinated with the Bobcat Shuttle service. While Nite Cats provides students transportation across campus, Vogt said the service also focuses on providing transportation to students who park their cars in lots far from their residence hall.
“The Nite Cats schedule is coordinated with the Bobcat Shuttle and parking, especially allowing residential students with a gold parking permit who move their car to the core of campus to access transportation when they return their car to the gold parking on Sunday,” Vogt said.
The coordination between Texas State’s transportation services is very important, however, expanding the hours of Nite Cats’ service would be better accommodating for students who are also looking for a safe way home after a late-night spending time in their friend’s dorm.
Knowing that Texas State has created a resource for students to safely travel across campus is a huge reassurance that student safety is a top priority. I have been a huge fan of the Nite Cats service and I have come to appreciate the transportation provided through the university.
However, by extending its current hours through the weekend, Nite Cats would be able to better adjust to the schedules of college students and provide another option for students to get around campus on hectic weekends. The service allows for students to navigate much more efficiently, thus proving why weekend hours are so crucial.
– Kadence Cobb is a journalism freshman
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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