The shuttle bus that travels campus is ineffective and not student-friendly because it lacks set rules and scheduled pick-up times. Students can wait for over twenty minutes for it to get from one place to another.
The shuttle bus is a free service to students, which makes moving around campus easier. But with no scheduled pick-up times, walking around campus is easier than waiting for the shuttle.
“I believe it is [efficient] because there are never enough students at each stop to have a scheduled stop,” said Tena Medina, office manager of Parking Services.
Even with two buses running throughout the day, the drivers are not set to a certain schedule.
“Each shuttle driver is different. Sometimes, the shuttle driver will make extra stops,” Medina said. “It’s to the drivers’ discretion. If they think that students will get on the bus, they will wait and if the students don’t get on, they will drive to the next stop.”
Without a set schedule for stops, students are dependent on the drivers’ discretion, which can leave patrons sitting at the bus stop for longer than expected.
Even with two buses running Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., a lack of scheduled stops creates a window of uncertainty for any waiting student.
“We have to account for shift changes during the day. This is why there are no scheduled stops. We don’t want a delay in the shuttle service,” Medina said.
“It might be helpful to the students to have a scheduled stop, but since there are only six or seven stops that they make throughout campus, it doesn’t take a long amount of time – it takes maybe 15 or 20 minutes.”
Again, the timing is up to the discretion of the driver.
The shuttle bus has made improvements. When it was first started, there were only two stops on the route.
“The shuttle originally just went from Y lot to the Student Center,” said Medina. “Student government decided because it is a free shuttle, all the students should be able to use it … It is a free shuttle service for all campus, not just for those who park in the free lot or the economy lot.”
The changes that were made have been beneficial, but until structured and scheduled stops are added to the route, the shuttle bus will continue to be ineffective. The bus is supposed to be convenient and assist students getting across campus.
Students are able to walk across campus faster than the bus can pick them up and drop them off.
“Sometimes, it is faster to walk,” said student Jared Fager.
“I sometimes use the shuttle,” said student Jordan Makin, “but I am not sure if it will be there when I need it to be.”
All the shuttle bus offers with no structure or scheduled pick-ups is uncertainty for students who rely on the shuttle service to get around campus.