It was a long day for Justin Ward, and all he wanted to do was relax at his favorite place — the movies. Ward knew he wanted to watch Contagion, but he didn't have a car to get to the theater. So he hopped on the KnightLYNX bus one night during his freshman year and rode it to the Regal Waterford Lakes Stadium 20 cinema.
While the senior film major now owns a car, Ward would frequent the KnightLYNX bus during his freshman and sophomore years when he didn't have one, and he is just one of many students who has used the bus service.
The bus runs on Friday and Saturday nights and has three different routes that are free of additional charge for students who show their IDs. The Blue Line travels to Waterford Lakes, the Green Line remains within campus and the Red Line makes its way to Downtown Orlando.
Brianna Davis, a senior human communication major, also uses the KnightLYNX service to go to Waterford Lakes for casual shopping ventures with her roommates.
"It's pretty convenient, and it's definitely good for freshmen who don't have a car," Davis said.
The bus makes a stop in front of Davis' apartment complex off McCulloch Road. Davis never made acquaintances with the other students who used the bus system, but she said the familiar faces would always exchange nods.
Christopher Clemente, SGA facilities and transportation specialist, said the service was started in order to provide a safe, economical way to transport students at night.
Ward said the service helped him explore the area when he first started attending UCF.
"It's extremely helpful, especially when I was a freshman and wanted to go around," Ward said.
The service, while helpful to many students, is not without its flaws, though. Sometimes the buses may not make it to each stop right on the promised time, Davis said. On occasion, she would wait 30 minutes past the scheduled time until the bus would arrive.
"[Sometimes] you're just waiting for it to come when you're ready to go and you're kind of just guessing the time," Davis said.
Clemente said the service was experiencing growing pains, specifically after one of the routes was extended by two hours.
"In the past week, we were experiencing difficulties with the start time of one of our shuttles," Clemente said. "Through student input, the issue was brought to our attention."
Some factors may play into situations out of SGA's direct control, such as traffic or technical difficulties, so the times on the bus-route schedule cannot always be assumed 100 percent, he added.
KnightLYNX is funded through SGA's Activity & Service Fee budget. Each student's tuition contributes to the budget by a fee paid per credit hour. While the service is free of additional charge for students, individuals who are not UCF students may also use the bus but must pay the regular bus fee.
For a full route schedule and list of stops, visit ucfsga.com/services/knightlynx/.