The Advance-Titan

University shuttle must extend operation hours

Constance Bougie | The Advance-Titan

UW Oshkosh Parking Services offer a free shuttle service to students who need to get from academic buildings, administrative buildings and residence halls in the center of campus to the University’s outer parking lots. The shuttle runs its route on a continuous 20-minute loop from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

In addition to operating on weekdays, the shuttle is on-call during interim, academic breaks and the summer. During these times, students can call the shuttle service and the shuttle driver will come pick them up and take them to their destination. On weekends and holidays, the shuttle does not run at all.

This shuttle is beneficial not only to students who need to get to far campus parking lots, including one parking lot that is located across the bridge from campus, but also to all students who need transportation to any destination on campus.

UWO student Hannah Huiras said the shuttle is especially useful for students who need to get to lot 39, which is located across the bridge from campus and therefore a difficult destination to reach by foot.

“It saves you the time to walk across the bridge and when it’s cold, you don’t freeze,” Huiras said.

If the shuttle was better advertised to the UWO community through emails and signs, more students would be able to utilize this efficient form of transportation.

In addition to needing better advertisement, the shuttle should also extend its hours of operation into the evening and on weekends.

Not running on weekends, including Fridays after 5:00 p.m., can lead to conflict for many students, as this is the time in which the shuttle would be most useful to them.

Many students whose cars are parked in lots that are far from their residence halls, such as lot 39 across the river, rely on this shuttle to get them to their cars when needed.

The UWO shuttle should extend its services to late Fridays around 8:00 p.m. and weekends from about 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in order to meet the needs of students.

If the shuttle were to run later on Fridays, it would benefit students who leave for home later than 5:00 p.m. because some students may have classes or other obligations that can keep them from leaving before 5:00 p.m. If they miss the shuttle, they have to walk all the way to far lots. This can be especially inconvenient when they have an abundance of belongings to haul home, as well as in the winter season when temperatures are low.

Student Sydney Kahn said having a scheduled shuttle on evenings and weekends would be more reliable than calling and waiting for a Safewalk, a program provided by the University Police Department where students can be safetly escorted by UWO’s Campus Service Officers.

“We have to walk over the bridge in the cold and at night, that’s dangerous,” Kahn said.

These students are also out of luck when they come back to campus on Sundays, as the shuttle does not run at all on weekends.

Huiras said walking back to campus on Sundays is inconvenient when students have to carry their belongings.

The shuttle should run more often than just weekdays to better suit the needs of students, especially those who come from and go to their homes on the weekends.
During the week, students have obligations such as class, homework, studying and jobs that often keep them on campus and prevent them from using their cars for off-campus endeavors.

Having cars parked in far campus parking lots is an hassle in both the hot summer and the frigid winter. Students may be more likely to refrain from walking all the way to their cars to drive to off-campus locations, so they are often stuck on campus in their dorms doing homework or binge-watching Netflix.

On weekends, not only do students use their cars to travel to and from home, but they may also drive to off-campus destinations in the Oshkosh area, such as stores, restaurants and activity centers.

A weekend shuttle service would prevent students from being stuck on campus all weekend and allow them to venture out and explore the city of Oshkosh.

Kahn said the shuttle would be more convenient on weekends when students are more likely to use it.

“People go places on the weekends because they don’t have class,” Kahn said. “It relieves their stress.”

Even if Parking Services is reluctant to run the shuttle continuously on weekends, one solution to this problem could be for the shuttle to be on-call on weekends as it is during interim, summer and breaks. Having the option of calling for the shuttle on weekends is better than not having the shuttle at all when it is needed the most.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
University shuttle must extend operation hours