Shuttle bus service kicks students to the curb

Sometimes, hitchhiking seems like a nice option.

For all Saint Louis University does to advertise its weekend shuttle bus to prospective students, the actual service is in need of improvement. On Saturdays, up to 60 students can crowd the stops outside Greisedeick and the Village, and as sexy as those buses are, they cannot accommodate all.

This wouldn’t be a big deal if shuttles to Clayton and the Central West End came frequently; one could resign themselves to sitting for an extra 10 or 15 minutes while contemplating some of life’s deeper mysteries. But during the morning hours, shuttle buses run only once every hour, and after 10 only once every half an hour, leaving those who cannot maneuver their ways under the legs of already-seated passengers to wait at length under the wicked St. Louis sun.

With all of SLU’s intentions to go green, and if it isn’t going to hand out free Metrolink passes like Washington University does, then it seems only natural that it would want to improve the quality of its main shuttle system. Not only would a more efficient system with frequent stops reduce the rate of student driving, but it would do more to get students off campus and into the community.

Right now it is a pain to schedule your day around the sparse shuttle times, especially when there is a chance you’ll miss it entirely or be turned away because of a full shuttle. If students were given more efficient service, even to the existing locations, the atmosphere surrounding off-campus shuttle adventures would be more exploratory and relaxed rather than trapped in the confines of a day-long trip to Bed Bath & Beyond for some throw pillows.

And, in order for students to not rush to the doors of the bus like teenage girls rush to a “Twilight” premiere, it would be a good idea to institute a queue so that those who came first had priority seating. Many shuttle services dealing with copious amounts of people have some sort of queue, and if students don’t intuitively form into lines like they were taught to in first grade, then it might be necessary to force them to do so.
Hitchhiking to Clayton isn’t really an option, and it doesn’t have to be. With a few small changes, the shuttle bus system can transform from something mildly irritating to a service that efficiently helps students run the errand they need and explore the surrounding neighborhoods.