Fighting for a Seat – BU Shuttle in High Demand

Living off campus is a great experience for many Bloomsburg University students. One experience that’s not so pleasant is the longer distance between your bed and the classroom.

The thought of walking to class seems like a good idea at first. You make your way from the fountain to College Hill and everything seems fine. All of the sudden you start to get tired from the hills. It is when you arrive at the Carver Hall steps that you suddenly break out in a cold sweat. By the time you make it to campus you are sweating, ticked off, tired, and mad for making such a bad decision. Luckily we have the shuttle bus.

The shuttle bus seems like a great service that the university is providing to students who would otherwise have to walk to campus. The service appears wonderful from the surface, but in reality is the complete opposite.

On the hour and half hour the bus is supposed to depart from campus. At five after and 35 after the hour the bus is supposed to arrive at the fountain. This, for one, never happens. The bus typically arrives anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes late. No matter what day and what hour, the bus is never on time.

The main shuttle complaint is the lack of shuttles that are provided in the morning hours. The fountain area is filled with students wanting to get to class every hour and half hour before noon. This has made getting on the shuttle a competitive sport. You have to seek out a good standing point, talk with a friend about where you need to position yourself when the bus comes, wait about five to ten minutes, and then run as fast as you can to the bus door. It sounds like a lot of unnecessary thinking for that early in the morning, but without making a conscious effort to position yourself correctly you may be left behind. Many students have had the bus door shut right in front of them. Many people are shoved aside like a piece of meat. Brooke Schlenker, a junior psychology major at Bloomsburg University, agrees the bus stop is a mess.

“It is pure chaos in the morning,” said Schlenker. “Everyone knows that there is a limited amount of seats on the bus and everyone wants to get a seat.”

The university should spend some time thinking about a solution. Just like the fee for the Student Recreation Center, the shuttle bus does not come at a free cost to students.  Every Bloomsburg University students pays $35 for a “Transportation Fee.” Without getting into the logistics of cost and pay, that amount accounts for over $300,000 per semester. The bottom line is that more busses need to be added to routes that have shown to be extremely busy.

There should not be a need for students to be standing or getting left behind. Those students residing on Iron Street have it a lot worse. Often times when the bus makes its way to their stop, the buss is not able to fit any more students. After waiting 10 minutes for the bus, those individuals are then prohibited from riding the bus. The bus driver usually agrees to come back, but in the time it would take to loop around again the student would be late for class.

For a service that students of this university are paying for, it would make sense for every student to have a seat on the bus. This would make getting to class more organized and would make students happier knowing a fight for the bus was waiting for them in the morning.

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