U alumnus starts shuttle from campus to downtown

Getting downtown from campus can be tricky and expensive, but a new shuttle service has made it easier for nightclub goers. The Campus Club Bus offers students a ride from the superblock and Dinkytown areas to downtown Minneapolis and back for $5. The cost also includes a cover charge to clubs or concerts for the night. Owner Kenny Ronnan, a recent University of Minnesota graduate, said he started the business as a safe option for groups on weekends. âÄúHaving to pay to get into a club and then take a taxi back can be an expensive night, so we try to roll all of those prices into one,âÄù Ronnan said. The business, which started about a month ago, is still in an experimental phase, Ronnan said. About 60 people ride the bus on an average Thursday, but some nights, such as last Friday, the bus was empty and never made it downtown. âÄúRight now itâÄôs a matter of trying to figure out which nights are popular and which places are the most popular,âÄù he said. The bus goes to 18+ clubs downtown, with a free cover at a designated club each night. Ronnan said although heâÄôs offering a deal to the club, riders can technically go where they want when they arrive downtown. Sherry Anisi , a volunteer promoter and University sophomore, said she tells people about the service, hands out fliers and gives riders free Red Bull energy drinks when they get on the bus. âÄúItâÄôs a great idea. I donâÄôt know why anyone didnâÄôt think of it before,âÄù Anisi said. Biomedical engineering first-year Beth Kregel, who rode the bus on Thursday night, said she thought the service was a good deal and would recommend it to her friends. âÄúI think itâÄôs a good idea to have a means of transportation for college students to get downtown in a simple way,âÄù Kregel said. Ronnan said he got the idea when he was a community adviser last year at Centennial Hall . He said a lot of residents would want to go downtown but didnâÄôt have cars, and catching a city bus or taxi was difficult, so this kind of service would be fun and useful. Ronnan said he initially called the downtown clubs to see if they were interested and if he could get any deals. After that, he contacted several coach bus companies to find one available. On EagleâÄôs Wings Charters got on board. Bus line owner and driver Mike LaDue said heâÄôs trying to help Ronnan get his business off the ground. âÄúI think heâÄôs trying to help the students here, so I want to be able to try to help the students also to get around in a safe way, and this is the safest way to travel,âÄù LaDue said. Ronnan said he has gotten positive feedback from riders. First-year student Matt Johnston said the bus is the âÄúbest dealâÄù to get downtown. âÄúEven though thereâÄôs sometimes free entry [at clubs], itâÄôs a pain to have to get over there,âÄù Johnston said. Ronnan said his plans include adding a stop on the St. Paul campus and providing rides for fraternities that may want to host parties downtown. Alcohol isnâÄôt allowed on the bus, and Ronnan wonâÄôt allow riders that are noticeably intoxicated. If riders are of age, however, and have a few drinks downtown, the bus will still provide them with a safe ride home.