Free bus service to Coral Ridge Mall starts


Students returning to Iowa City might now find the Coral Ridge Mall nearly as accessible as the Pedestrian Mall.

UI students will be able to ride a Coralville Transit bus to Coral Ridge for free Thursday and Friday evenings during the fall semester, said Tom Rocklin, the UI interim vice president for Student Services.

The blue buses will depart from the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets, and a student ID will be the only requirement to board.

“I’d use it, and I think a lot of others would as well,” said UI sophomore Justin Bucklin. “I try to [get out to the mall] but with a lack of cars, it’s hard to get out there.”

The service is supported by the UI Student Government and the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students.

By providing a service to get more students out to the mall — which features a movie theater, an ice rink, restaurants, and stores — the buses could provide an alternative to the downtown bar scene, perhaps replacing shot glasses with popcorn buckets.

“I encourage students to take full advantage of the service,” said UISG President Mike Currie.

He said the idea came out of a subcommittee of the Partnership for Alcohol Safety. He and Rocklin are committee members.

Members considered several alternatives to transport students to the mall, including Cambus and the Coralville Transit System, before Rocklin worked out a deal with Coralville Transit.
No cost estimate for the service was available Thursday evening.

Bucklin said he will use the transit option because the mall trumps the relatively limited selection of stores at the Old Capitol Town Center in downtown Iowa City.

UI freshman Lucas Saunders agreed he would use the service. He said he rarely makes the trip now but would probably go more often with the new bus option.

Buses will leave Iowa City each hour from 6:10 to 11:20 p.m.; the last bus returning to Iowa City will leave the mall at 11:42 p.m.

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