Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Extend UT Night Rides to the airport

Avery Thorpe

UT Night Rides has helped students get to other parts of Austin from campus without walking unsafely or using public transportation. However, many vital locations need to be included, including the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. UT should expand Night Rides credits to allow students to travel from campus to the airport, allowing them to avoid deciding between expensive rideshare services or dangerous and unreliable public transportation.

Although normal rideshare app fees aren’t always expensive, a trip to the airport is more likely to be subject to surge prices due to heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic. These prices can be challenging to overcome without spending an excessive amount of money. Excessive prices can significantly affect out-of-state students, who need to travel to the airport more frequently than in-state students when going home for breaks. 

When rideshare apps aren’t an option, many students are forced to use public transportation to reach the airport. However, public transportation can be unsafe and subject to travel delays, which can affect students’ ability to get to the airport in time to catch their flight.

Many students never use their Night Rides credits due to their exclusive utility for 11 p.m.- 4 a.m. trips away from campus. If the Austin-Bergstrom Airport was designated as a location for students to travel using the credits during these hours, students could ensure their trip is safe, inexpensive and reliable. 

“The problem that I find most often is that the rates are really expensive for a 15 or 20-minute ride,” biology freshman Milin Sophonsiwongse said. “(However), I feel like if I’m traveling on a bus, the bags put a target on my back and slow me down.”

When students are only able to choose between public transportation or apps like Uber and Lyft for a late-night trip to the airport, neither seems particularly favorable. However, being able to use the Night Rides credits could allow students to travel to the airport conveniently and safely, and issues of bag security and excessive rates would be a problem of the past.

When asked about expanding UT Night Rides, UT Parking and Transportation Services issued the following statement:

“UT Night Rides was started in order to complement other university transportation services that help ensure safe transportation needs are met during various hours and for various locations. These include the UT Shuttles and Sure Walk. More specifically, UT Night Rides provides safe transportation during some of the hours UT Shuttles do not run and to some areas for which Sure Walk services do not reach.”

According to the statement, UT Night Rides provides safe transportation to various locations that other University transportation services do not reach. Therefore, expanding UT Night Rides to the airport would align with its goal of providing a safe and reliable medium for students by allowing them to easily reach the airport early in the day. 

Navigating travel can be a scary and challenging process, but adding the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as one of the locations for the Night Rides credits can ease the process and help students feel more comfortable late at night. This expansion would be perfectly in line with the purpose of the UT Night Rides: to prioritize student safety and well-being.


Herman is a Plan II and psychology freshman from Southlake, Texas.

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