Underground UK: Bundle up and buckle up: the safest ways to travel


A Lextran bus picks up students in front of the Main Building on South Limestone on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Taylor Pence

Megan Brown

Temperatures are dropping and snow is falling; winter has officially arrived in Lexington.

The cool air and chilling winds make it difficult to move around campus and despite many students desires to stay inside, Mother Nature’s fury is unavoidable. Using different types of transportation will allow students to spend less time in the unbearable weather and more time at their destination.

One of the many perks of being a UK student is the ability to ride the Lextran buses for free by showing your student ID. This includes the whole system and not just the blue and white routes that travel around campus. The blue and white routes are open from 6:45 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Friday, but do not run between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Students who do not bring a car to campus can take advantage of the free bus system to travel to places like the airport, Walmart, Fayette Mall, Kroger and Keeneland. The transit center is located downtown and students can download the TransLoc Rider app to track the location of a bus and the estimated time of arrival.

The UK Police Department along with the Flying Wildcats Booster Club has another option for student transportation with their safety initiative SAFECATS.

SAFECATS stands for Safe And Free Escort for Campus Area Travelling Students and is run by Air Force ROTC cadets. The program allows students to safely move around campus with a cadet escort Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Based on how busy the service is, cadets will be walking or on a golf-cart. The number to call to get an escort is 859-257-7233. The program can be used for a variety of circumstances in which students don’t feel safe on campus at night. For example, a student can use the service to go back to their dorm after a long night of studying at the library.

Kentucky Wildcab is a similar free program provided by Transportation Services to give students a safe way of getting around campus. Wildcab is available on demand and runs between Thursday and Sunday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Because SAFECATS only operates during the week, this is a convenient service to use during weekends.

Similar to SAFECATS, students can use Wildcab to ride back to their dorm after dropping their car off at K-lot or to travel from one campus area to another. Wldcab’s can be requested through the Transloc Rider app.

Lastly, Uber and Lyft can be expensive, but both companies offer free rides to new users. Uber’s free ride is up to 15 dollars off and Lyft offers 20 dollars in credit for new users’ first ride.

Prepare for winter and protect yourself against Mother Nature’s elements by bundling up and buckling up to travel throughout Lexington and campus this season.