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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Off-campus shuttle route times to stay same

Some students want off-campus shuttles to keep their wheels rolling a little longer on Fridays.

The current north and south off-campus shuttle routes have shorter hours of operation on Fridays than during other weekdays, ending their routes at 5 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., as they do on other weekdays.

Lingxiao Ge, president of the Graduate Student Senate, said it does not make much sense to end the off-campus routes at 5 p.m. because busy students do not get enough time to make it to the bus stops.

“There are students usually having classes on Friday afternoon or even have organization meetings on Friday afternoons that may not end until 5 p.m. or close to 5 p.m.,” she said.

Rachel Robinson, a graduate student who rides the shuttle when the weather is too bad to bike, said she does not know why the routes are shorter on Fridays.

“That’s a problem for me because most of my meetings happen on Fridays, mainly [Graduate Student Senate], and it’s always been like that,” she said. “Student organizations still meet during those times and I kind of learned the hard way that the shuttle stops at 5 p.m.”

Aaron Kane, manager of parking and shuttle services, said the reason for the shorter routes is because past history of usage shows a decline in the number of passengers after a certain time.

Monica Moll, director of public safety, said the current Friday route schedule makes sense because of the decline.

“The shuttle service is funded by students, and it’s not a very good use of students’ money to run nearly empty shuttles around campus,” she said

There are no plans for changes to the route schedules at this time, but new automated passenger counters in each shuttle help shuttle services determine if any changes are necessary, Kane said.

“We’re using that data to analyze each route so we’re not just looking at the Friday at 5 p.m. … we’re definitely focusing on the Friday,” he said

Shuttle services also asks for student feedback with an annual survey and uses the feedback to help make any necessary changes, Moll said.

“Every year there will be an opportunity to revise routes if it appears there is enough student interest, so it is important for students to express their opinion,” she said.

Ge said she does not think the off-campus routes need to run as late as they do on other weekdays but an extension of a half-hour or an hour would be helpful, especially with winter approaching.

“It’s okay right now but the weather is getting colder and when there is snow, if there is no bus then there is no way to walk home,” she said.

Robinson said she thinks the routes should be extended to at least 7 p.m.

Kane said if off-campus students need rides home after the shuttle routes end, taxi services are available for low prices within the town.

Moll said the downtown red route that operates on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 2:30 a.m. is another option.

Robinson said plenty of students still need rides around 5 p.m. and she has found an alternative of her own.

“I know the Enclave shuttle and Falcon’s Pointe shuttles are full Friday afternoon because I’ve had to hop on there to get home because I live near there so I know people are coming and going at 5 p.m.”

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