Students have plenty to remember as they board the Stampede for class every day, and now they must add another item to that list – their UB cards.
Through a joint initiative by Parking and Transportation Services and University Police, all passengers on campus transportation, including the Stampede and campus shuttles, are required to present a UB Card or affiliate institution badge, guest pass, or event pass upon request.
According to Maria Wallace, director of Parking and Transportation Services, student fees pay for UB buses, and students-only buses would improve efficiency and safety on campus.
"There have been complaints during peak hours about standing students…and in fact, some non-students have taken the bus and have been linked to crimes and/or inappropriate behavior on campus," Wallace said.
According to Dick Linde, Assistant Chief of University Police, approximately five to six times per year, non-students who commit on-campus crimes take UB transportation to campus. Through interviews with perpetrators of campus crimes such as laptop thefts and vehicle break-ins, University Police learned that many of them traveled to campus via the Stampede.
Although not all buses will be checked, University Police will select random buses to check for IDs, which is similar to NFTA's policy of checking for tickets on the rail system.
Wallace notes that it is common policy at many universities to show ID for campus services, but he explains that exceptions will be made for those lacking IDs on a case-by-case basis.
"Officers will use their discretion in accepting other forms of ID or hearing explanations of why someone does not have their ID," Wallace said. "For guests or visitors, confirmation of an appointment [or] tickets to an event will be accepted."
Visitors can obtain a guest pass at the Parking and Transportation office at 102 Spaulding Quadrangle in the Ellicott Complex.
Some students consider the card-checking an inconvenience, especially when they are rushing to get to class on time.
"It takes too long," said Chelsea Hale, a sophomore business major. "Too many people have to get on the bus."
Others believe the policy is unfair to students who may forget their IDs and non-students who wish to take advantage of on-campus services.
"I understand why they're doing it, but there might be people who don't have their IDs [with them] and want to get to campus or people who are not students who use the libraries," said Emily De Beer, a senior English major.
Despite the student opposition, David P. Urbanek, a lieutenant with University Police, believes that this initiative, although it is still in its infancy, will benefit students in the long run.
"You've got to keep in mind that the entire university is for the students, whether it's the faculty who support their efforts to get educated and developed or the students themselves," Urbanek said. "Having outsiders use the buses to victimize the students is totally contrary for the environment we want to create for all of our students."