On Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at around 2:30 a.m., a group of students riding the “Cabbie D” party bus filed a report with JCU campus police. The students in question were verbally and physically harassed by a group of individuals who were not John Carroll students. The students had their belongings taken from them, and one of their harassers threatened them with a knife. Although there was a “security guard” on the bus, he did nothing to stop the harassment.
Cabbie D is a shuttle service that operates independently from the University, shuttling students to and from John Carroll and the bar scenes on Coventry Road, East 6th Street and West 25th Street.
Though Cabbie D prevents students from driving while drunk or distracted, it has a reputation for not being a safe choice. This is not the first time there has been a reported incident involving John Carroll students on Cabbie D. However, it is somewhat foolish to assume that students are just going to stop taking Cabbie D, since he is the cheapest option. In light of that fact, John Carroll should re-instate the “West Loop” of the shuttle service, and it should have a late-night schedule devoted to transporting during the weekend.
In addition to the East Loop, which is currently still in service and goes to Beachwood Place with stops at Green Road Annex and Legacy Village, the University used to run a shuttle to and from Little Italy, with stops on Lee and Coventry, but the West Loop stopped running four years ago.
Other universities have taken the initiative to implement night shuttle services for students to take to and from the bars, or the central areas of the town or city they are located in. Schools that cater to large student bodies such as University of Vermont, University of Michigan and the University of South Carolina all have late-night shuttle services available.
However, it is not just large universities that provide shuttle services for their students. Saint Bonaventure University, a small Catholic university in western New York, has a shuttle for its students to take to and from the main drag. Though Olean, the closest city to Bonaventure, is certainly smaller than Cleveland, it still shows that a shuttle system can be implemented and will be used at a small university.
Reinstating a program that John Carroll once offered would be a proactive solution. If the University began running the West Loop of the shuttle again, it would not only keep students from taking Cabbie D, which, as we’ve seen, is not the safest option, but it would also keep students who didn’t want to ride Cabbie D from driving while drunk or distracted. Even for the students who would take a cab, it would help students save money otherwise spent on cab fares. It would also save them the trouble of trying to find a designated driver. Even though the shuttle system wouldn’t provide transportation to students going further than Coventry, it would still cut down on the amount of students riding Cabbie D or trying to drive themselves.
It would be in the best interest of the student body for the University to provide the students with a shuttle service, which would keep them safe in more ways than one.