Student Union Vice President Tim Johnson is on a mission to improve campus transportation one discussion at a time. Last Monday, Feb. 17, the Shuttle Exploratory Committee had its inaugural meeting to generate options for off-campus transportation for students. The committee, a spin-off of Student Union, will address student concerns and gauge interest in possible alternatives with University funding.
After the Cabbie D party bus incident in early January when a John Carroll University student was assaulted on the bus, students and faculty have questioned why the University has not addressed this issue of transportation. For student safety, the Shuttle Exploratory Committee is seeking substitutes for driving distracted, under the influence or in overcrowded vehicles without seat belts.
Johnson is a member of the committee along with several senators, one student-at-large and two faculty advisors, Lisa Ramsey and Megan Dzurec. The committee facilitates discussion and student input beyond the weekly Student Union meetings. Johnson hopes to receive a significant amount of suggestions and student criticism of current transportation, especially from students who do not have access to cars.
The committee hopes this initiative will encourage students to explore the greater Cleveland area for cultural events and extracurricular activities. The new transportation could offer routes to Shaker Square, downtown Cleveland and other locations based on student demand.
Senior Sara Schoonmaker said she feels like she has missed out on interesting community events off campus solely because she did not have transportation.
“I think this would help all students who want to explore with friends and see everything that Cleveland has to offer,” said Schoonmaker. “Honestly, I think it’s a great idea.”
Schoonmaker also said she believes safe, dependable and cost efficient transportation options would greatly benefit the JCU student experience.
“I’ve never taken Cabbie D, but for the most part, it’s an OK option if you know what to expect,” said freshman Becky Rohwer. “Besides for the one incident in the news earlier this year, I haven’t really heard anything bad.”
Freshman Bobby Cowen supports the initiative with the thought of more opportunities for fun off campus, specifically on weekends. He said he hopes the committee considers the need for mass transportation for larger social events.
“More transportation options would mean students don’t have to resort to driving themselves or relying on the smaller shuttle,” said Cowen.
The Shuttle Exploratory Committee does not anticipate changing the current shuttle service unless student feedback demands it. If anything, the committee will expand the shuttle loop with more stops for optimal convenience.