By Toby Holloway
Cardiff-based public transport company Cardiff Bus have announced the launching of two new bus routes, both of which will run throughout the night and into the mornings.
Route 18 will link Canton, Ely and Caerau with the city centre, and will run every hour, seven days a week.
Another service, Route 38, will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and will connect a number of student residential areas, including City Road, Crwys Road, Whitchurch Road, the Heath, and Talybont residences.
The new services will charge £3 for an adult return ticket, and £2 for passengers under the age of 19.
A similar scheme was briefly provided in April 2016 when Cardiff’s Hackney Drivers’ Association went on strike amid controversy surrounding the refusal of some short-distance fares from the city centre.
Hackney Carriages received criticism that some of their drivers were endangering revellers by not accepting short journeys, and an investigation was launched following the sexual assault of a woman who was supposedly forced to walk home from the city centre alone when a taxi driver refused her fare.
A large number of complaints followed, describing similar stories of short-journey refusal, however many cab drivers argued that they were being unfairly treated, and that they only refused passengers who were excessively drunk or abusive. This led to the strike.
Preventative action has been taken by Cardiff Council and South Wales Police in an attempt to increase the safety of the Welsh capital at night time, following the series of sexual assaults which occurred last year.
The launch of the night bus service by Cardiff Bus could be another step towards helping clubbers get home safely from a night out, however there have been mixed reactions from Cardiff University students over the effectiveness of the scheme.
English student James Lloyd, 20, praised the new bus service, stating:
“I think it would be an excellent idea. Especially because of incidents that happened last year. It would keep people safe.”
Medic Phyllis Bush, also 20, admitted:
“£3 is pretty good but a taxi is less than that each to your house, but then if your on your own it’s good.”
However there was some skepticism, with Biology student Alex Harkin, 20, saying:
“Well with alternatives like uber which can pick you up from wherever, and drop you off wherever, there’s little incentive to get a bus for the same price if not more. Also, it will drop you off at a bus stop anyway, so there’s still the walk from the bus stop back to a house, which can be potentially dangerous.”
The new service will launch on Sunday, September the 18th.