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September 10, 1981 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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Page 8 --Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily

LOCAL TRA VEL MADE EASY
'U: city transits span Ann Arbor

By LOU FINTOR
The work of the Women's Safety Task
Force of the Public Interest Research
Group in Michigan - in conjunction
with the Ann Arbor Transportation
Authority - is bearing fruit. After mon-
ths of determined efforts, a 24-hour
public transit system will soon become
a reality.
The service will be provided by in-
dependent taxi companies in Ann Ar-
bor, and is slated to operate between 11
p.m. and 6 a.m. nightly at a reduced
cost to city residents.
CHRIS PENNOCK, a member of the
Women's Safety Task Force and
PIRGIM treasurer, said the plan now
has federal approval, and official
notification is expected soon.
Officials at AATA sound really op-
timistic," Pennock said. "Officials at
the Urban Mass Transportation
Association have already assigned a
project manager with AATA and we
hope to have the service operating
before the end of this summer," she
said.
According to Pennock, the Women's
Safety Task Force became concerned
with the status of night-time transpor-

tation after the murders of three Ann
Arbor women last year, and a reported
increase in sexual assaults.
"WE TARGETED AATA because as
an urban mass transit authority and a
public service, it has the responsibility
to provide transportation to residents,"
Pennock said.
Although the service will be available
to all city residents, women traveling
alone late at night are especially en-
couraged to use the service by the Task
Force. "We wanted to make inexpen-
sive, convenient transportation
available to city residents late at
night," Pennock said.
Statistics from a recent Task Force
survey indicate that at least 350 Ann
Arbor residents get out of work between
1 and 3 a.m., and that most either ride,
walk home with another employee, or
have a friend pick them up. According
to Pennock, very few said they took a
cab or owned a car.
The group also surveyed more than 20
major area late-night employers. "This
survey didn't include area hospitals,
libraries, or special events crowds,"
Pennock said.
ALTHOUGH THE Safety Task Force

will not have a direct voice in the
operation of the service, it will
periodically review and monitor the
system, she said.
"AATA has been really receptive and
cooperative," Pennock said. "They all
seem to be genuinely concerned with
the late-night transportation problems
in Ann Arbor."
The Women's Safety Task Force is
concerned about the discontinuance of
the University's "Nite-Owl" bus ser-
vice for the summer, but they say
although the "Nite-Owl" serves a num-
ber of residents, it doesn't effectively
address the basic problems of late-
night transit on a city-wide basis.
"THE 'NITE-OWL' is a good service,
but it only serves a minimal number of
people until 2 in the morning, and it's
not a door-to-door service," Pennock
said.
Task Force members are optimistic
about the success of the new night-time
service, but point out that its continued
operation rests with the residents of
Ann Arbor.
"This is a demonstration grant sub-
sidy for one year," Pennock said. "It's
important that the public will utilize the
service so that the transit authority will
see that it's worthwhile. It's just a test.
We have to make it work."
IN ADDITION to the new proposed
night transit service, the AATA serves
the city during daytime and early
evening hours from the central bus stop
at Fourth and William. The buses ser-
vice all main streets in the city, and
three buses also serve Ypsilanti - the
Washtenaw, Huron River, and Packard

-for a cost of 50 cents. Special bus
tokens, costing 35 cents each, may be
purchased in packages of 20-tokens
each at the Fourth and William Infor-
mation Center.
The buses leave Fourth and William
every quarter hour and return at the
quarter hour, with dial-a-ride service
available for the handicapped and
elderly.
The University also operates its own
bus service for all campus areas.
THE NORTHWOOD and Bursley-
Baits buses run from the main bus
shelter on North University to the Nor-
thwood apartments (married student
housing). The Bursley-Baits buses ser-
ve both Bursley dormitory and Baits
housing.
The commuter bus services the
Crisler Arena area from the Medical
Center, with an average waiting time of
about 10 minutes for each bus. There
are no fares.
At press time, the familiar "Nite-
Owl" (the late-night University bus
service) was being considered for fall
term operation, but no final decisions
had been made by mid-July, according
to Bob Kepler, University bus foreman.
IN ADDITION to the bus services,
Ann Arbor has three major taxi com-
panies: Veterans, Yellow, and Checker.
Taxis charge a flat fee when the
meter is started, then $1.10 for each ad-
ditional mile with the standard "four
can ride for the price of one."
The average waiting time may vary,
depending on weather conditions, but
during average conditions the wait is
from seven to ten minutes.

*WONDERING
WHERE
TO LIVE
THIS FALL?

4
..' ,
i
+ : ".
y

aOi ly Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
One of Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's new busses glistens on a
downtown street.

City unites in

CONSIDER THESE ADVANTAGES:
" Our apartments are furnished and you live in hi-rise luxury.
* We offer 8 month leases with only $100 deposit and rates
that are competitive with dorms.
" We are in the "South U" shopping area only 5 minutes walk
to main campus.
" We are approved by the U of M Off-Campus Housing Office.
UNIVERSITY TOWERS

By LOU FINTOR
In an unprecedented move, the Ann
Arbor city council last summer ap-
proved a new city budget which in-
cludes $3,600 in funds for a city-wide
rape prevention and awareness
program.
The funding proposal was
spearheaded by the Ann Arbor Anti-
Rape Coalition and, as outlined, will in-
clude comprehensive community
education through the Ann Arbor Police
Department's Crime Prevention Unit.
REPRESENTATIVES OF the
coalition had presented City Council
with petitions bearing more than 350
signatures at the "Take Back the
Night" march, designed to raise com-
munity awareness concerning rape.

536 S. Forest at "South U"

761-2680

More than 1,500 people joined in the
march.
Orgainzers of the march hoped to:
" Establish an effective crime
prevention unit with special emphasis
on rape prevention.
" Improve night transportation.
" Print detailed and factual (not sen-
sationalized) reports of rapes in local
newspapers.
" Publish a spot map showing quar-
terly incidences of rape, by location.
" Incorporate self-defense training in
the primary and secondary schools.
" Establish community men's and
women's task forces to oversee the
above projects as well as others-such
as better lighting and improved cam-
pus security.
Marcia Wallin, a representative of
the Coalition, told Council she wanted
the expanded crime prevention unit to
include "women, children in homes,
and men whose lives have been touched
on all sides" by the problems of sexual
assault.
Later, Wallin said the Crime Preven-
tion Unit currently consists of only one
full-time detective who oversees
everything from the "Neighborhood
Watch" robbery protection program to
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an'ti-rape
investigation of rapes and sexual
assaults.
"WE WANTED TO elicit $3,000 from
council to pay for pamphlets, movies
about sexual assault, general public
education, and extend the unit with the
creation of an ad hoc citizens commit-
tee to oversee the use of the money."
Wallin said Ann Arbor Police Chief
William Corbett was very cooperative
in the Coalition's efforts to gain access
to official statistics on the assaults.
According to Wallin, Council mem-
bers Lowell Peterson (D-1st Ward) and
Leslie Morris (D-2nd Ward) have also
been instrumental in their successes
with council.
"I CIRCULATED A memo to Chief
Corbett requesting $3,000 to extend the
Crime Prevention Unit of the Ann Ar-
bor Police Department," Peterson said
in an address to the assembly mem-
bers, "and I would be very glad to work
with any councilman who would be
willing to pick up on it."
"THE ACTUAL MONEY will be used
to purchase educational materials,"
said councilmember Morris. "It's not
really a new program per se, but a
prioritizing of the crime (of sexual
assault)."
According to Morris, the program is
now in its early stages of implemen-
tation.
City Administrator Terry Sprenkel
confirmed Morris' observation, saying
"We are now in the early planning
stages."
FUNDING FOR THE program came
from within the city Police Depar-
tment's operating budget earmarked
for the Crime Prevention Unit, accor-
ding to Sprenkel.
Wallin added that while current
statistics on sexual assaults in the area

drive
have only recently become available to
the public, the Ann Arbor Women's.
Assault Crisis Center records estimate
'that more than 300 assaults occurred.
between 1976 and 1978.
"Only a fraction are reported to the
police, and they may occur at any par-.
ticular time," Wallin said, adding that
48 percent of all assaults occur indoors
and 48 percent of the time the assailant
is known to the victim.
SHE STRESSED that police depar-
tment statistics differ from those of the"
Women's Crisis Center because "only a
fraction of those who are assaulted ap-'
proach the Crisis Center, and only a
fraction of those report it to the
police."
Jennifer Brown, a member of the,
coalition and former director of the
crisis center-also a victim of sexual
assault-said she sees "the need for the
University to prioritize the reality that,
they will spend millions of dollars on
their sports program and yet will not
take the responsibility to provide night-'
time transportation for students."
Brown cited this as' a contributing fac.
for that may encourage sexual'
assaults.
She also said rape-as it exists in our
society-"is the easiest thing in the
world to get away with, because it's not
easy to prosecute,"and that "it's im-
portant to get women to fight-
back"-especially from a legal point of
view.
"Society has the tendency to blame'
the victim because people think women
"ask for it," but "women have the right'
to wear or conduct themselves in any
manner appropriate," Brown said'
"It's about time society as a whole does
take some of the responsibility for
sexual assaults," she said.
,pppe

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