One student, two students, three students, four. 38, 39, and how many more? This is the reality faced by Westmont students who must endure the shuttle rides because they were not allowed to bring their cars to college. Every weekend, students desperate to take advantage of their free time in this beautiful city are packed into a single shuttle like sardines. When the shuttle sways, you sway, and speed bumps are a recipe for concussions when students are standing and have nothing to grab hold of, except each other. So what exactly brought on this problem?
Students in the past were able to spread themselves out between the main and express shuttles; even the upper State Street shuttle was beneficial in decreasing the number of students on the main shuttle at any given time, because students had more places to go. Now, we only have the main shuttle to rely on to get anywhere; and by anywhere, I mean the seven stops that the shuttle makes. Both the express shuttle and upper State Street shuttle are no longer offered by Westmont.
Some argue that they had to terminate the express shuttle because there isn’t a shuttle or driver available. According to a shuttle driver, who prefers not to be named, they have the resources to bring the other shuttles back and that even he doesn’t know why they aren’t offering the other shuttles. He actually suggested that we, as a student body, take up this issue with the administration, as there are too many people piling into the shuttle and it’s not safe.
The argument against keeping the upper State Street shuttle is that we don’t use it enough to be worthwhile. One of the biggest hindrances to taking advantage of the shuttle is its limited offerings, only on Wednesday and Saturday. It is difficult for college students to endure a two hour round-trip journey (not including time to eat) to go to Chick-Fil-A on a school night. It is important that the administration ask students what days they would get the most use out of it. If it is only offered throughout the weekend, when we have time to do more than eat, sleep, and study, the upper State Street shuttle would not have been empty, and therefore, worthwhile. As a result, our already limited location options have been decreased even further by Westmont.
If students wanted to resolve this issue by asking to bring their cars to campus, they’d be met with a resounding “no.” The lack of parking makes it extremely difficult to be granted a parking pass by Westmont. Students are told that the shuttles will take them wherever they need to go, but what they neglect to mention is the nature of the shuttle rides they must endure. The shuttle systems were perfect when students could be sure that they had a safe and reliable way to get off campus, but not anymore. Westmont should bring back the other shuttles, even if only for the weekends.