SafeBus connects KU students to popular destinations

October 18, 2022

Last spring, KU Transportation Services reintroduced SafeBus, a late-night bus route that will drive between 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. on most Friday and Saturday nights. The route runs every 20 minutes, in a loop between popular destinations like the KU Residence Halls, downtown Lawrence, and 14th and Tennessee.

“We’ve seen higher demand for SafeRide last year which led to longer wait times. SafeBus alleviates this by connecting the most popular destinations,” said Austin Stiffler, student transportation coordinator for KU Transportation Services.

Heatmaps from the SafeRide app help illustrate the popularity of the destinations served by SafeBus, as shown in the images.

Ridership on SafeBus has increased each weekend since the beginning of the semester, with up to 78 passengers per night. Using the bus route gives students a predictable schedule to get home, instead of waiting for SafeRide, and students can track the bus in real time as Route 53 in the My Bus Lawrence app.

SafeRide has also improved user experience through the successful implementation of a new app for students to request rides and track the vehicle as it heads their way, with a 93% positive rating in the first half of the semester. More than 1,200 students have taken 5,575 rides since August 19, with an average wait time of only 10-13 minutes.

“SafeRide has grown significantly in the past several years, and bringing back this SafeBus route to help get students home safely at night is going help us increase our capacity to meet the demand on our highest ridership nights,” said Margretta de Vries, transit program coordinator at Transportation Services. She adds that the service has operated continuously, except during the COVID shutdown, since February 1986. “We are very proud of the success of the SafeRide program.”

Students can download the KU SafeRide and My Bus Lawrence apps in the Google Play and Apple App stores. SafeBus routes and schedules are online at For more information, email

Contact Austin Stiffler, Transportation Coordinator,, or Margretta de Vries, Transit Program Coordinator,