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Twice the transportation

Published: September 15, 2006
Section: Opinions


Last year, the Department of Public Safety worked closely with the Student Union and Heller School to bring a daytime Waltham shuttle to Brandeis. The new initiative made access around Waltham much easier for both on and off-campus students and should be applauded. Rather than switching over to the BranVan at 4 PM, it seems to be in the best interest of the students to provide this shuttle service all day long.
First of all, the daytime Waltham shuttle has set pickup points and times. The BranVan is quite the opposite, in that one must call in to schedule their own pickup point and time, which is not guaranteed anyway, as the van might already be full. The shuttles run about every forty minutes while the BranVan generally runs about as often. Students both on and off-campus know approximately when the shuttle will arrive rather than being left in the dark or given a rough estimate for the BranVans arrival.

Another benefit to expanding the Waltham daytime shuttle hours is that the shuttle is much larger than the BranVan. Often times students have been crammed into the tiny corners of the BranVan to make room for more passengers. The bus seats up to 29 students, while the BranVan seats significantly less. Secondly, the shuttle would be much safer for students to ride, as it is driven by actual drivers rather than students looking for an easy job. The tedious task of notifying the driver of where to pickup students on each run would be eliminated, as the route would stay the same as the last, proving both predictable and reliable.

Additionally, the shuttle goes right by almost all of the same places as the BranVan. Adding one or two additional stops would accommodate students in Grad, while the shuttle could even simply just be used to get from one side of campus to another for lazy students. The shuttle also seems like a much more feasible way of possibly getting students to Riverside, a brief drive from one of the current stopping points in Waltham.

The most likely reason the change has not yet been made is for monetary reasons. Yet to run the shuttle all day would in the long run be much safer and more efficient for students. Even running the shuttle at set times each day to Riverside and charging a minimal fee might help cut the extra costs.

Using two different modes of transportation to accomplish the same thing seems silly and unnecessary. It makes the most sense to try and eliminate the least efficient one entirely, and in this case the BranVan seems to be the obvious choice.