No longer will students have to wait fruitlessly outside Parrish for a shuttle that never comes. The dean’s office recently decided to have an outside agency run the evening shuttle rather than students.
According to director of Public Safety Owen Redgrave, the change was made to ensure shuttle reliability and continuous service. Safety is also a concern: “Student Council and SBC have had numerous discussions over the past few years about the issue of student drivers, usually after somebody gets into an accident,” said SBC manager Sonya Hoo ’05, “Having professional drivers is ideal since they are less likely to get into accidents and often more reliable than students.”
But professional drivers also cost more: the Dean’s office had to increase the evening shuttle funding by about $7,500 to make the change.
The switch to the new drivers was made on April 17th, leaving the student drivers jobless. In his email to the student drivers, evening shuttle coordinator Gian Vinelli ’06 wrote, “I was hoping that I could convince them to continue the shuttle till the end of the year, given that work-study is important for many of us, but they were not for it.”
However, the change is sure to please those students living in off-campus dorms. “I’m sure that people who drive the shuttle as a student job are less than thrilled, but as an ML resident I think it’ll be really nice,” said ML basement RA Jen Roth ’07, “Hopefully outsourcing it will lead to greater reliability–waiting for the shuttle for 15 minutes only to call public safety and learn that someone didn’t bother to show up for their shift is an experience I like to keep to a minimum.”
The morning, Target, and movie shuttles are handled by a different coordinator and there are currently no plans to outsource them.