Many things have been attempted since USF wanted to remove its commuter school image and establish a classic college image where students live on or close to campus. Establishing shuttle service that offers students routes to campus from the apartment complexes north of Fletcher Avenue is one such method that has been successful.
The shuttle routes have been running since fall 2000, but starting this semester the hours have been extended to give students who have night classes or choose to study late at the Library a way to get home after 9:30.
Now the C Route, the most popular route to get on and off campus for students, will run until midnight Monday through Thursdays. The shuttles will also run on Saturday until 4:30 p.m. and until 9:30 p.m. on Sunday nights. Last year, shuttles had no service on the weekends and made their last route at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays.
These changes offer a much-needed way of integrating the campus into the student communities north of campus, as many students prefer residences along 42th and 50th streets to living on campus, but access, especially at night and on the weekend, was often problematic. Now the new shuttle service offers the best of both worlds to such students.
Many students prefer using the shuttle to searching for parking spots on campus, or do not even hold a parking permit and instead rely solely on the shuttle to get to classes.
This makes more parking spaces available for students who commute and is beneficial to those who do not actively use the shuttle but provide its funding through the Transportation Access Fee added to each credit taken at USF.
There are, however, still areas in which the system needs improvement.
Students waiting on 42nd Street to get a ride onto campus often miss not only the B but also the C route, as both of them pass the area at approximately the same time, causing the waiting time between shuttles to be longer than it should.
Despite these minor gripes, though, the shuttles generally provide a useful system that is used by many students each day.