Students without cars look for alternatives

While navigating campus backwards, university tour guides generally advise prospective freshmen that they will not need a car during their first year at Butler.

In 2011, almost 4,000 parking permits were issued to students, faculty and staff.

The students who do not bring their cars rely on their friends or the Student Government Association-provided shuttle on Friday and Saturday nights.

“When I came on a tour they said having a car is not necessary due to the shuttle,” freshman Courtney West said. “I didn’t think it’d be a big issue.”

In her parents’ mind, there was no need for West to leave campus. As she got more involved, however, she found not having a vehicle was causing her to miss events sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America on the north side of Indianapolis.

Issues like this are preventable, said Marielle Slagel, SGA vice president of operations. SGA will always team up with other events if transportation is needed. Organizations can also apply for grants with SGA for transportation.

“It’s a necessary thing for students to have that form of transportation,” Slagel said.

West uses the shuttles, but she said she wishes they ran during the week as well.

Creation of times are brought up, but there is not a great demand for shuttles during the week, Slagel said.

She said the buses tend to fill up on Friday and Saturday nights. Earlier in the evening there generally aren’t as many riders.

The Doublemap GPS system on the shuttles keeps track of the passengers and the location of the shuttle for those who wish to use it.

After the IndyGo route to Butler shut down in 2004 due to lack of use, SGA discussed hooking up the shuttle with the city transportation system. But the city buses have a lot of issues and can run later than scheduled.

“Butler works better having its own system,” Slagel said.

SGA is flexible about adding times if its surveys show a need for them.

There is also a shuttle available on Thursdays, as well as Zipcars.

SGA also provides transportation to and from SGA-sponsored and major events, such as the NCAA basketball tournament, concerts and the Super Bowl last year.

Navigating around campus has not been an issue for sophomore Tammy Nguyen, who uses a wheelchair.

“Our campus isn’t as huge as Indiana or Purdue,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen typically uses the shuttle, as she does not have a car.

She has never experienced a problem getting where she needs to go during the week.

If SGA receives more demand for transportation options during the week, it may change its schedule. Until then, students without cars will have to continue relying on their friends or making trips on Friday or Saturday nights.


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One Comment;

  1. Krista said:

    I hate how almost every girl in Schwitzer has a car, but half of the cars never leave the parking lot… Why have a car on campus if you don’t need one? Because of this, I end up parking at Irwin all the time. Pretty inconvenient.