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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Shuttle strands students in New Haven
Last Friday, my roommate and I decided to take the shuttle into New Haven to try Froyo World. We planned to get back on the shuttle when it stopped at Temple and Chapel streets at 7:20 p.m. We had enough time to get there early; we were there by 7:10 at the latest. After 7:20 came and went, we figured it was possible the shuttle was running a few minutes behind. By 7:40, we decided to call security.
We were told that they would try to contact the driver to see where the shuttle was and if it could come back for us. We made several more calls to security only to be told that the driver was not answering the radio, so they had no idea where he was or if he had stopped, or if they were still in the area able to come back and pick us up. By this point we were freezing and getting scared – a street corner in New Haven is not where we wanted to be left alone waiting for an MIA shuttle. We didn’t have enough money for a taxi back to school, and the next scheduled shuttle wasn’t until 9 p.m. Six phone calls later, we were told that a security van was in the area dealing with an issue and would be able to drive us back to campus; they came at 8:40, almost an hour and a half after we started our wait.
Perhaps what bothered me the most was the patronizing way in which we were treated by the security workers when they asked if we were sure we had the schedule right and by making it clear that they were only making this detour for us because they were already in the area. Yes, we knew the schedule, yes, we were in the right place, and yes, we were there on time. And even though it may not be something you do regularly, it should not be seen as so far out of the job description to bring students safely back to campus. They could not offer any explanation as to what happened at our stop, because it apparently returned to campus on time after completing its route.
However, for the driver to be completely out of contact is unacceptable. They are responsible for all of the students they are transporting, and we should be able to have a reliable and safe way to leave campus (and hopefully return).
If there was a technical problem with the radio, alternate arrangements should have been made ahead of time so that the driver was always reachable.
If the problem was that the driver was ignoring the calls, then Quinnipiac needs to rethink their shuttle system. We pay enough money in tuition and fees each year that enough money should be able to go to a reliable transportation system. We appreciate the efforts of security and the eventual ride back to campus, but hope that they realize it should never have been necessary in the first place. – Emily Maggio