One of USF’s main strategies for its development is to establish a stronger sense of community and identity. An effective way to achieve this started in summer 2000 when the USF shuttle service route was established, connecting the overwhelmingly student-populated blocks north of campus with the campus itself. This semester, though, students are appropriately complaining that what was almost an ideal service has taken a turn for the worse.
Formerly, the service operated by USF’s Parking and Transportation Services included two routes stopping on 42nd Street, Skipper Road and 46th Street, an area in which realtors and apartment complexes advertise the accessibility to USF’s shuttle service. These routes gave all students possessing a USF ID a quick, free ride to campus. Routes B and C traveled past Cooper Hall, the Library and the engineering buildings.
At the beginning of this semester the routes were diverted. Now only Route C connects what are arguably the heaviest-trafficked areas on campus with the community north of campus. Route B still stops at the same locations off campus, but once on campus the route is significantly different. The shuttle no longer travels anywhere near its former stops, rather goes straight to the medical facilities.
This appears to be a change for the worse for most students. Main complaints are that Route C has become much more crowed, but more importantly, it now takes longer to get to class and home.
On top of this, Route B – now exclusively bound for the medical side of campus – is no longer used as much. While every morning large groups of students wait for the C shuttle, the stops for the B Route remain mostly unused.
It is only a matter of time before students become fed up with waiting for the C shuttle while the B shuttle – which used to offer them a much quicker way to get to class – keeps passing them. Many of them will likely decide to drive to campus instead.
This cannot happen. Students living a mere block or two away from campus should not pay $100 or more for the privilege to park: It’s not only a waste of money, it’s a waste of resources. It would also significantly increase traffic on and off campus and put an even bigger strain on USF’s much lamented parking situation.
Students’ objections would probably be quelled if the C shuttle were to increase its frequency. But most would prefer for the B shuttle’s route to be reinstated the way it was. The final decision, however, rests with Parking Services.