Day trip survey goes unnoticed

A survey created several years ago to gauge student interest in off-campus day trips has gone virtually unnoticed on the Parking and Transportation Web site.

The Outdoor Recreation division of Campus Recreation teamed with the Bull Runner shuttle service to create the trips, which would provide students with transportation to hot spots in Tampa and the surrounding area.

“The idea stemmed from the philosophy that (students) can come to school here and wouldn’t need a car, and as a part of that we would provide the transportation to the beach or to Busch Gardens so students could still experience the area,” said Rick Fallin, Parking and Transportation Services manager.

Fallin said he did not know exactly how long the survey was online.

Students can take the survey and give feedback on destination preferences, level of interest and willingness to pay. Fallin said that with the right amount of student interest and feedback, the Outdoor Rec Center would be ready to put this plan into action.

However, the Web site drew little feedback.

“The purpose of the survey was to determine whether or not there was enough interest for us to pursue anything, and we just haven’t gotten enough interest — or at least not enough survey results have come in for us to do anything,” Fallin said. “We only get about four to five surveys per semester.”

He said not enough survey results came in for any real planning to begin.

“It just didn’t spark enough interest to reach the development stages,” he said.

The survey was never advertised because it was hoped that students would stumble upon it while on the Parking and Transportation Web site or hear about it from friends, Fallin said.

“I think the problem was that students only go to the parking Web site to order a (parking) permit, and the students who need permits wouldn’t need the service of the Bull Runner,” said Brett Morgan, Outdoor Recreation coordinator.

Morgan was not originally made aware of the Outdoor Rec and Bull Runner day trip program but said one of his predecessors, who is no longer with the University, may have started the project and abandoned it when it didn’t take off.

Potential destinations included Tarpon Springs, Busch Gardens, and Clearwater and St. Petersburg beaches.

Students would pay a fee to help cover gas, hiring a bus driver, upkeep of the buses and toll roads, Fallin said. However, the cost would be based on the number of students in attendance — so more students involved, the lower the cost would be.

Morgan said he thinks the program is a great idea and that if enough students show interest in it, it could be worth reviving. He said his main concern is the cost of the Bull Runner and the number of students it may take to make the trips financially feasible.

The survey can be found on the Parking and Transportation Services Web site at