Transportation troubles on campus

Campus shuttles provide rides to students who live in off campus residence halls

No matter where a student lives on campus, getting to class on time, especially 8 a.m. classes, is always a challenge.

However, students who live in Baypoint or Almeida Apartments have to consider more than the alarm clock. 

Kate Tobin, manager of parking and transportation on campus, acknowledged that Public Safety noticed some flaws in the shuttle system last year.

“The shuttle wasn’t convenient for let’s say an 8 a.m. class, so they changed the shuttle schedule, to make sure we are getting the most students on campus in time for their classes,” Tobin said.

For students who are still having trouble getting to their 8 a.m. classes on time, Director of Public Safety Steve Melaragno had a suggestion.

“You may want to get here earlier, take the 7 a.m. shuttle, take the 7:15 shuttle… have some breakfast, have a cup of coffee,” Melaragno said. “Then you won’t be stressed trying to make an 8 a.m. class when there is a delay.”

Many students simply choose to avoid the shuttle altogether by driving to campus or getting a ride from one of their friends.

“I pretty much only take the shuttle if I have to. Otherwise I try to get rides from my friends,” sophomore Megan Yackley said.

“Having to rely on a schedule of when the shuttle comes to stops is a little annoying, especially if there are breaks at a certain time where you have to wait longer to take the shuttle.” 

This means that while the shuttle is not her first choice of transportation when she does use it, she does not “have to stress on getting to a class on time.”

Recently, the shuttle system has had to contend with another obstacle when transporting students to their classes.

A press release from the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said that work on the Mount Hope Bridge will continue through late fall. According to a weekly construction schedule released by the authority, the north bound lane on the bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 5.

Melaragno warns students who live in Baypoint that it could take longer for them to get to campus, so they should make sure to plan accordingly.

He also said the shuttle system can be delayed by road construction in Bristol, so he “would encourage everyone to plan ahead and to give themselves enough wiggle room in their morning schedule.”