Opinion: Which came first: student safety or the shuttle?
Copy Desk Chief
A little chilly, maybe even cold if you’re not prepared to be spending any significant amount of time outside. Like, say, an hour waiting for a bus that never came. That’s how cold it was at 11 p.m. two Saturdays ago.
I work on North Campus. I live in Warner Hall, at the southernmost end of the South Green. On Saturday nights, I count on the bus to get me home after I get off work at 10 p.m. I checked the tracker about half an hour before I got off — it said the bus would arrive around 10:30 p.m. I could live with that.
I checked the tracker again at 10 p.m., only for there to no longer be arrival times. Maybe it was a glitch, I told myself. I’ve seen the bus disappear off the tracker and still be running. I would just wait for it.
But 10:30 p.m. came and went. I got concerned, so I pulled up the UDShuttle app, hoping to find the North/South Academy Street bus. It’s supposed to run every 40 minutes until 2:38 a.m. on Saturdays.
I pull up the bus route, and I see the bus, sitting at the motor pool. The bus that should at least be somewhere on the route is parked. At the motor pool. Not running the route it is scheduled to do.
Now I don’t know why that might be. I took that same bus route up to North Campus earlier in the day, and there were no signs or other indication that the route might be changed later that night. The bus system’s Twitter, @GetAroundUD, last tweeted two days beforehand. No notice that the bus wouldn’t be running on Saturday night.
I finally caved in and ordered a Lyft, even though I absolutely didn’t want to. I hadn’t planned on making the walk, which would end up taking about 30 minutes. Cold air, asthma and long walks really don’t mix.
20 minutes after I finally make it back to Warner, I check the shuttle app again out of curiosity. The bus is on South Campus, running its route again.
The predicted arrival time at the Christiana Commons stop is 11:44 p.m., about an hour and forty-five minutes after I got off work.
This isn’t the first time that university buses weren’t running on schedule like they are supposed to — just last year, I waited for an hour on North Campus for the Early Bird bus, only for it not to be running at all that Monday morning. I’ve also emailed transportation services since it happened, but I still haven’t heard back from them. It’s been over a week.
The university’s tagline is “Dare to be first,” but I dare Transportation Services to simply do their job.