STAFF EDITORIAL: An Unreliable Late Ride System Disproportionately Affects Women

For women, this service is even more important to ensure their safety in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods.

“Just call an 8-RIDE,” has become an age-old adage for many Loyola students when staying up studying at the Information Commons or hanging out late at a friend’s dorm or apartment.

For women, this service is even more important to ensure their safety in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods.

Loyola’s safe-ride program is intended to provide students with “safe and quality service” when traveling around campus, according to the university’s website. Between 6:30 p.m. and 3:35 a.m., students can request an 8-RIDE to transport them between locations within a certain distance from campus.

Over the years, The Phoenix has reported on the unreliable van system that provides students with long wait times, sometimes even canceling service.

Providing all students with a system that intends to ensure safety when traveling near campus at night is not only comforting and convenient, but essential in allowing students to feel secure. 

The Chicago Sun-Times, WBEZ, Telemundo Chicago and NBC5 conducted a poll in which 44% of voters said “crime and public safety” was the most important issue to them. In the same poll, 63% of Chicagoans said they don’t feel safe concerning gun violence and crime.

The 8-RIDE service is especially crucial for women, who face elevated fears when traveling at night. About 45% of women said they don’t feel safe walking alone at night, compared to 27% of men, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.

Loyola’s undergraduate population is around 68% women, according to U.S. News and World Report. There should not be a single member of that group who should have to make their way from point A to point B without a sense of security. 

In 2018, The Phoenix published an article in which students expressed their concerns about the service which has been operational since 2014. In a follow-up February 2022 8-RIDE article, a student said being a woman was a primary reason she didn’t feel safe walking home.

8-RIDE is a service we are grateful for and appreciate having as an option, but the university and its transportation provider MV Transportation need to work to make it one students have no hesitancy to use.

To schedule a ride, Loyola students can download the TripShot app, call ​​773-508-7433 or use extension 8.7433 (8.RIDE) from a university phone line. 

Through this app, a means in which students can contact their driver to ensure they are on time or en route is one way in which the university can assure students’ safety.

For those unable to use the app, the vans stops at Cuneo Hall throughout each night to pick up students without them needing to request a ride. If there were more of these designated stops in the surrounding campus area, 8-RIDE could quickly become more accessible to Loyola’s student body.

Students who experience difficulty with the 8-RIDE service can fill out a feedback and suggestion form through Loyola’s website.

The Phoenix Editorial Board

The Phoenix Editorial Board