Shuttle service leaves AV residents feeling left behind

Photo by Maria Porter

Students are raising concerns that the Student Government Association shuttle bus that runs on the weekends from campus to Broad Ripple and Glendale is failing to stop at the pick up point located at the Apartment Village.

Senior Audra Winger said she and her friends were left waiting outside of AV on multiple occasions for a bus that never arrived.

“We even waited outside for over an hour thinking maybe [the bus] was a little off schedule. We saw it drive by headed toward Atherton but never saw it come back the other way,” she said. “We ended up staying home, very frustrated.”

In past years, the shuttle bus only stopped at the main pick up and drop off spot along the front of Atherton Union. SGA vice president of operations Kelsa Reynolds said the AV pick up location was added this year in order to reach out to more students living on the other side of campus.

But students said the bus is not making its promised stop at the new AV location at the scheduled times, and it is irritating to have their plans consistently changed.

“If the SGA is going to post a [bus pick-up] schedule, then it should be reliable, especially the weekend after they put a special announcement about it in the Butler Connection,” Winger said. “My friends and I will most likely not risk the shuttle bus again, and if we do, we will be very skeptical about it.”

Reynolds said her operations board has not heard concerns, but she thinks the problem could be a lack of signage to make the new bus stop visible for both students and the drivers.

“[The buses] have been stopping [at AV], but it was probably not as much or for as long as it was at Atherton,” Reynolds said. “I’m guessing the driver wouldn’t stop to wait if they didn’t see students outside at the stop.”

The official stop is supposed to be by the emergency pole outside of the Dawghouse convenience store, but there is currently nothing marking its location.

Reynolds said the delay in getting a sign like the one currently at the Atherton stop is because she needed the approval of BUPD Police Chief Ben Hunter’s and a city ordinance for the location.

“It’s probably taken a little longer than it should have, but it’s a process,” Reynolds said.

The new sign that alerts both the drivers and students to the official stopping point should be placed within the next week or two, she said.

In order to get the shuttle drivers used to the routes, Reynolds said she has someone from the operations board ride the first bus route every weekend to ensure that problems such as irregular stop times don’t arise.

She also receives a head count of bus riders at each scheduled stop so the operations board can communicate with the bus company to ensure the service is efficient for students.

“I receive a report from the actual company itself that gives us the numbers for the specific pick up and drop-off times,” Reynolds said. “We have open communication that allows us to adjust that schedule if there is a concern.”

She said students who continue to have issues should contact the operations board so they can work out the problems with the bus company.

In addition to the new pick up location, Reynolds said the operations board has worked hard to make the shuttle bus more useful for students by adding a downtown shuttle on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month as well as an airport shuttle for Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks.

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