Opinions

The Furman Shuttle: A Blessing and a Curse

By Ben Longnecker, Staff Writer

One of the most irrational policies at Furman University that upperclassmen consistently complain about is the forceful walk that students have to take every morning. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, hurricane or tornado, it is a policy that all students stay in their respectful parking spots until the parking lots open at 3 p.m.

You can always go to the hundreds of parking spots that are vacant every single day in the South Chapel parking lot and risk getting a ticket in order to avoid the treacherous walk. However, recently Furman has implemented a shuttle that picks up students and drives them to the academic quad.

The driver of this shuttle, Don, is the salt of the earth. He is one of the most friendly, charismatic and happy people I have ever met. He has never greeted a single student with anything but a smile and great attitude, even in the early hours of the morning. Next time you are lucky enough to find the shuttle, make sure to introduce yourself to Don. You will not be sorry.

But this morning van commute is far from perfect. The shuttle does not have a schedule. It does not have a set-driving plan. The shuttle simply runs off of the arbitrary will of the driver.

Can you imagine any type of public transportation system that runs off this policy? It would be chaos. There is a reason that every single transportation system runs off of a schedule. It is so somebody knows whether or not they can count on that transportation. When a student wakes up on Furman University’s campus, his or her chance of making the shuttle is similar to that of a coin toss.

One day, you can get a ride in front of apartment building F at 8 a.m., and the next day the van could be on the opposite side of campus.

So then, how do we improve the system? Although letting students park in the South Chapel parking lots on days of extreme weather may not be the logical thing to do in the Furman University Police’s mind, it could definitely be a start.

However, since the Furman police do not necessarily work off of logic, Furman could implement some type of schedule that mirrors not only every public transportation system in America, but also improves the efficiency of the students, who are attempting to fight the rain, snow and cold to get to class.

 

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