Local services offer safe transportation at night


Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Students get off the Moonlight Express Oct. 2, 2010. The Moonlight Express is a safe way for students to get home after a night in Campustown.

Page Stanberry

Planning your night on the town is difficult when the weather gets cold or you live far away from the bars. It might be annoying to plan a sober ride home but it is essential for your safety. Here are some tips to make it home safely at the end of the night.

The cheapest way to get home is to walk, but if you live off campus, CyRide offers the Moonlight Express, which runs during the later hours of the night.

Sheri Kyras, CyRide transit director, explained the history of the Moonlight Express.

“The Moonlight Express was started by a group of students that wanted available bus rides later at night,” Kyras said. “At first they paid for it out of pocket, but the ridership ended up being so high that CyRide decided to help pay for it and make it free to all students.”

The nighttime shuttle offers a free and safe ride from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. A minibus also is available that can pick up students who aren’t close to any of the fixed routes. All students have to do is call 515-292-1100 after 10:15 p.m., and a minibus will be sent if existing shuttles do not pass through the area. 

Small groups with spare change looking for alternative transportation to get home can take an Uber. Downloading the app is easy, and splitting the bill ends up being pretty cheap in the end.

Margaret Standish, senior in chemistry, said all of her friends agree that driving drunk puts other people’s lives in danger.

“We would rather pay the $10 for an Uber or stay at someone’s house,” she said.

Standish also said that she and her friends choose a designated driver 75 percent of the time and an Uber the other 25 percent.

Students looking to have a fun and safe time with a big group of friends in the city can rent a party bus for the night.

“When you split the cost of a party bus it ends up being around a $15 round trip, where an Uber is about $10,” Justin Keen, senior in mechanical engineering said. “It makes it worth it because you get to be with all of your friends the whole way to the bars, and you don’t have to worry as much about your friend’s safety.”

Keen also said he found that most of the rates from one company to another didn’t differ too much, which makes that option even easier.

Cost is important when looking for a party bus, but safety is a bigger priority.

“Taking a party bus is the safest way to go out when everyone is drinking,” Scott Blaha, owner of Elite Party Bus, said. 

Blaha also said the Elite Party Bus website is equipped with safety rules such as capping the bus limit at 40 people and ensuring the buses follow the Department of Transportation guidelines.

Additionally, most of the bus drivers drive for school districts around Des Moines. If you can trust them to drive little kids to school, you can trust them to drive you and your friends around.