Apartment Complex Quarry Trail, located off the first exit of Alcoa Highway, about 2 miles from the University of Tennessee campus, since February has started running a bus to campus from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The Quarry Trail leasing manager, Taylor Herlihy, explained the way their system works.
Quarry Trail leased a bus from a rental company, and pays the current workers, some of them students themselves, to drive the bus from the complex clubhouse to "the strip" (Cumberland Avenue).
It is free for residents, paid for by corporate, and residents are allotted two guests to ride with them, though Herlihy said they are not strict about it.
UT students are in favor of off campus transportation systems like this, feeling that it would aid to their safety as well as help put a stop to drinking and driving.
"Having a transportation system that runs off campus would be invaluable to the safety and security of UT students," Sara Edwards, a senior in Communication studies and Political Science, said. "I firmly believe that having an off campus transportation system would help prevent students from driving after consuming alcohol. Having had a friend killed in a drunk driving accident two years ago, I would like to think that had a transportation system been available, he would not have driven home and would still be with us."
A recent TNJN survey taken through Facebook of 160 random UT students showed 45.3% of the students live off campus; with another 28.3% planning to move off campus, and also that 86.2% of the students drink.
"I don't think this university grasps just how many students drink and drive every night," Monica Bird, a senior in marketing, said.
University of Tennessee Police Department has noticed drinking and driving among students to be an issue.
"Our Patrol officers encounter individuals (students) weekly who are intoxicated and driving. Numbers vary but we made 66 DUI arrests in 2009," UTPD Lieutenant Emily Simerly said. "Obviously we encounter additional people that may be under the influence of alcohol that we did not arrest for DUI but may have been able to make other transportation arrangements for."
Some students also think that a transportation system that runs from off campus complexes would be beneficial in ways other than just helping to prevent drinking and driving.
"I think an off campus transportation system would be great, not only for those students who choose to drink, but for students who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances where they would need a ride back to their apartment," Alix Yates-Orr, a junior majoring in food science and technology said. "Providing a bus pass allows those without means to get back to their off campus apartment a way to get back without having to worry about walking on roads which are not designated for pedestrians."
Off campus apartments that are for considering a system like this are The Woodlands, The Retreat, and The Orchard, all located near Quarry Trail off the first exit of Alcoa Highway, and Gateway Apartments, about 2 miles from campus located off Chapman Highway across the Henley street bridge.
"I think an off campus transportation system would be extremely beneficial to students if it ran on the weekends," Ben graves, junior in Civil Engineering and Physics said. "It would cut down on alcohol related accidents and give others piece of mind knowing that the roads are safer on weekend nights."