BY BRENDAN CRONIN // DEC. 5, 2011 //

Those big gray buses make getting around campus a lot easier, but many students are questioning whether they’re worth the wait.

Some students have been complaining about the shuttle buses’ overall service, as well as not knowing who to complain to. In interviews with numerous students, a recurring theme was that the shuttles are often full. As a result, those who had been waiting for a ride are left waiting, or must then walk to their destination. Either way, those students often arrive late.

“It takes a pretty long time,” said freshman criminal justice major Derek Degon. “And you’re almost better off walking or you will waste too much time waiting for it.”

Shawn Neenan, a senior criminal justice major, said there simply aren’t enough shuttles on campus. “If it’s raining and the bus is full, they sometimes pass by,” he said. “They just don’t come around as frequently as they used to.”

Public Safety oversees the shuttle service, and Chief Brian Greeley said he’s aware of some of the complaints. “On Fridays, there is only one shuttle bus. And on one occasion, the one driver decided to take his lunch break at 4 p.m., leaving several students at Mayflower stranded on a rainy day.

“The biggest complaint was them taking too long in between bus stops,” he added. “In other words, at times, both buses were at the same stop when they should have been staggered.”

But those are hardly the only problems, say students. The shuttle will sometimes sit idling outside Mayflower in the morning, creating unwanted noise. Other students said they have seen the shuttles “hiding” on the South side of campus and in the parking lot next to the tennis courts.

For other students still, erratic driving has been a particular issue this semester. “I know of one driver that constantly flies over speed bumps and just drives crazy,” said Jamie Cleveland, a freshman early childhood education major.

Greeley said he appreciates and welcomes the feedback, and has worked with the subcontractor, Cavalier Coach Trailways, headquartered in Boston, to fix them.

“This semester, I have received seven complaints regarding the shuttle,” he said. “Every one of the issues was brought forward to Cavalier company supervisors and was resolved. I even had their supervisor spend several days on campus to observe their drivers. We have met with the supervisor and the drivers and reiterated what the expectations were.”

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