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UB again tweaks late-night shuttle service

The University at Buffalo again is tweaking weekend shuttle service between its North Campus in Amherst and South Campus in Buffalo – just five weeks after university officials introduced a revamped shuttle schedule aimed at putting the brakes on late-night partying in the University Heights neighborhood.

The latest changes, prompted by student complaints, bring back 24-hour shuttle service on Fridays and Saturdays beginning this weekend, albeit on a less-frequent basis and with smaller buses. Students may be able to board the shuttle if they're using the library, meeting a study group or working late at night.

University Heights residents had complained for years about UB Stampede buses that picked up dozens of undergraduate students, every 10 minutes, from outside their North Campus dormitories and dropped them at a stop on South Campus, where they fanned into the streets in search of house parties. Neighborhood residents nicknamed the Stampede shuttle the "drunk bus" and the "vomit comet" because so many students were using it to engage in underage drinking.

In late August, university officials discontinued 24-hour bus service between the two campuses on Friday and Saturday nights.

Instead of Stampede buses, passengers who need to use the university's 24-hour library or who have overnight jobs, study groups or lab work between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. will be able to ride a smaller shuttle between campuses. The smaller shuttles, with a capacity of 25 people, will run every 30 minutes between South Campus and the Flint Road Loop stop outside Capen Hall on North Campus.

University officials said they will monitor the overnight shuttle to make sure it isn't being used primarily as transportation for house parties.

Student leaders at UB pushed for restoration of overnight service, arguing that its elimination between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. posed a safety threat to students.

"Especially on Friday or Saturday night, it's completely reasonable for young adults to be up late in the night, and it doesn't have to involve alcohol," said Michael Brown, a junior who serves as student representative on the UB Council. "We really just want students to get home safely."

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