Weekend shuttle service draws mixed reactions

By on September 3, 2014

Long lines plagued students as they waited to board the shuttles to New Haven Saturday night, even as freshmen stayed on campus or took taxis into the city.

Senior Emmanuel Laboy planned to go into New Haven, but changed his mind because he did not want to wait for the shuttles.

“York Hill was horrible,” Laboy said. “I went to the line at 9:10 p.m. and the line was totally around the garage through to the stop sign, past the stop sign and going up the steps so I left the line.”

Laboy said last year six shuttles would normally line up at the York Hill stop, but this Saturday there were only three.

Chief of Public Safety David Barger confirmed the number of express shuttles to New Haven were cut this year, in part with hopes of promoting on-campus activities.

“The idea being is that we don’t want the students just to think that New Haven is the only place you can go,” Barger said. “There are other things to do here on campus.”

Students who arrived at the shuttle stop early had fewer problems.

“We left fairly early because we knew we wanted to get in,” junior Jil Pfeifer said. “We got right onto a shuttle, got right there, felt safe in New Haven and got right into Toad’s. That’s how early we were.”

But Pfeifer and her friends had to wait a while to take the shuttle from the Mount Carmel Campus up to York Hill.

“They dropped me off at main campus and I had to wait like 20 minutes for a York Hill bus to take me back up to my room,” Pfeifer said. “There are plenty of other ways they could do it.”

The tap system to get on the shuttles for New Haven on the Mount Carmel campus were not being used up at York Hill.

Sophomore Amel Langston said freshmen found this out, and were taking shuttles up to York Hill to get to New Haven from there.

“They had you flash your card but there was no machine,” Langston said. “The line to get on the shuttle just to go to York was so long, it was ridiculous.”

Other freshmen chose to take taxis to Toad’s. Freshman Ally Feinberg said taking a taxi worked out well because her friends split the fare to get to New Haven.

“Actually going to Toad’s made us bond way more,” Feinberg said. “I know that they don’t have freshmen go down there because they want them to bond on campus and a lot of crazy things happened last year, but we got closer because of Toad’s because it was really just disgusting and we had to buddy up.”

Not all freshman chose to go into New Haven last weekend. Some, such as freshman Kelly Woodmansee, stayed on campus. Woodmansee and her friends went to Student Programming Board and QU After Dark’s movies on Friday and SPB’s Bobcat Bounce event and QUAD’s bingo night on Saturday.

“I feel like there was a lot to do on campus,” she said. “You didn’t necessarily have to leave. They packed a full [day]. I was busy all day on Saturday from the time I got up to when bingo ended at midnight.”

Abbie O’Neill, traditions and community chair for SPB, said the organization hopes more freshmen will come to their events since they cannot take the shuttles, but they are not changing how they program for students.

“Our goal is to get the maximum number of students at the event whether the shuttles are running or aren’t running,” O’Neill said. “So we’re not doing anything different because they’re not running. We’re just hoping that students will find our events and notice that there is something else going on on-campus.”

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