by Amber Cox
Rider’s campus shuttle may have launched a new, more frequent schedule of rides this semester, but the system is still under construction.
The program was launched Sept. 3. In previous years, the shuttle only operated on Wednesday nights and Saturdays. The new system runs Monday through Thursday and also on Saturday.
Dave Keenan, director of Campus Life, is one of the people working to improve the shuttle.
“It is a real joint effort of both campuses,” Keenan explained.
Many other people at Lawrenceville and Westminster are helping to improve the new system.
The weekday schedules are going to connect the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses and Saturdays will link students with the Mercer County region. The shuttle is going to allow students to access academic and co-curricular activities offered on both campuses more frequently.
Keenan said that Campus Life and the Student Government Association (SGA) “started the precursors” for the system last year.
“It’s a work in progress,” Keenan said. “This is by no means the end.”
The first step for the shuttle was to address the problem of getting students from one campus to another. The focus is mainly on those students participating in the School of Fine and Performing Arts, those needing to get to the Princeton Ballet School and those who have rehearsals.
“It’s not a fair thing to ask students to drive their own cars,” Keenan said.
The evening shuttles and the one running on Saturday were kept so the campuses can continue interacting socially. They will allow students at Lawrenceville and Westminster to travel back and forth and participate in events not offered on their own campuses.
The shuttle will also help with the new energy and sustainability efforts going on at each campus.
“There’s no need for 50 students to be driving their cars to Princeton,” Keenan said.
As with any new system, there are some glitches — students missing the last shuttle for the night or the shuttle not being on time.
“In general, it’s doing pretty well right now,” he said. “I think it’s meeting a need.”
reshman Elyse Langley rides the shuttle on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“I’m a music theatre major,” Langley explained. “It’s vital to use the shuttle.”
Even though she finds the shuttle helpful, she sometimes gets to Westminster an hour before her class starts.
“It gets me to the other campus on time, but the schedule isn’t always convenient,” Langley said.
While it might be easier to drive, students coming from the Lawrenceville campus have to pay $200 for a parking permit to park on the Westminster campus.
“I feel we shouldn’t have to pay the fee,” Langley argued.
According to Keenan, they are open to feedback from students on how to improve the system. He also said that there will be a meeting before the end of the semester to see what they “need to change, improve or keep the same for next semester.”