Starting on Sept. 9, OCCT Late Nite bus service was suspended due to misconduct from students taking the bus, including some who had forced open closed doors. Unruly behavior and rudeness toward drivers by students using the Late Nite service is chronic, and needs to end.
Last year, Late Night Service was canceled from Oct. 12 to Oct. 29 due to “excessive mistreatment of employees and buses.” The service is enormously convenient, and saves students taxi fees while also preventing drunk driving by shuttling students to and from campus until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. However, the popularity of the service leads to large crowds trying to push their way onto the bus and overwhelm the ability of a singular bus driver to maintain order. The Editorial Board calls for respect for OCCT drivers, as this issue is clearly recurring.
Last year — and earlier this semester as well — OCCT had to repeatedly remind their riders to wear masks on their buses, a policy which has been standard for over a year. The recurring refusal of students to follow this policy is one of many instances in which drivers are left to do more than simply operate their buses — they also may feel the need to ensure compliance.
After the service was suspended these past few weeks, the Student Association announced on Sept. 29 that Late Nite Service was restored, with new conditions to protect drivers and riders, including “crowd control monitors” and a police presence at the University Union stop and on State Street. The announcement also stated that students who misbehave on the bus or toward drivers will be suspended from OCCT services and will face student misconduct charges — possibly even legal consequences.
We thank the SA for restoring Late Nite Service and the drivers for their commitment, and we praise the SA for implementing crowd control monitors and outlining consequences for rude and unruly students. Primarily, this will avoid complete suspensions of Late Nite Service that deprive all students of its use. However, we ask for clarity regarding what “crowd control measures” will consist of and what role the SA expects police to play, as we hope that police presence does not escalate situations.
We condemn rudeness and misconduct from students who are given the privilege of using Late Nite Service. This is not the first editorial we have written on this topic, but we hope it will be the last. Regardless of the measures or lack of measures in place, we hope that students will treat drivers and fellow riders with kindness and respect.