Hours for the Beachside College Dormitory shuttle have been extended to 11 p.m. during weekdays, effective Sept. 30, according to an email sent to Beachside residents.
The email told residents that, due to feedback from students and parents of residents at Beachside, they will be partnering with Housing and Residential Life to sponsor extended hours for the remainder of the academic year. The hours for Friday remain unchanged at 7 a.m to 4 p.m.
“I’m forever grateful and I’m glad that Parking [and Transportation Services] realized the safety of campus residents is important,” said Alexi Reed, president of the Residence Hall Association, who also started the online petition.
Before the change, the shuttle ran until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 4 p.m. on Fridays.
In 2017, the shuttle ran until 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Fridays. Last year, the shuttle had its first significant schedule shift to running Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The new schedule has caused some students to take action against the change by starting a petition. The petition was created by the Residence Hall Association and has almost 300 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
“We heard complaints of residents at Beachside who were getting left on campus,” said Alexi Reed, president of the Residence Hall Association. “When we asked about it, we found out they had started [an unofficial petition], so we started the official one for them.”
The new shuttle hours add to the list of other transportation-related issues affecting students this semester.
Over the summer the university announced an 800% TAP Card fee increase. During the first and second weeks of classes, the university suspended the sale of student-parking permits, and during that time, students have had their vehicles damaged with the assisted parking program.
“I have two night classes, not having a shuttle means I have to take the bus or drive, and both are extra costs,” said Beachside resident, Katie Stewart.
The change is a cost-cutting measure due to the low usage of the shuttle after 8 p.m., according to the office of Parking and Transportation Services.
“I have a classmate that has a night class with me,” Reed said. “They struggle to find efficient ways home after class due to the shuttles stopping at 7 p.m.”
Students that have been affected by this change have other resources available. One is to use the university night escort program that is able to take residents to their dormitories.
“I feel like with the tuition and housing payments we make, we should have access to safe and reliable transportation to and from the dorms,” Stewart said.
According to Support Service Captain John Brockie, there has been a notable increase in the use of the escort program. Since the beginning of the fall semester, community service officers have been averaging 71 rides to Beachside a week. Last fall, there were only six rides during the first week of school.
“It has been taxing for us, it is having an impact on us completing our original mission,” Brockie said. “We were not meant to be taking people back and forth, like a shuttle.”