This year I have the great fortune to live in the Main Street condos, and what could I possibly have to complain about? I have a full kitchen with brand new appliances and granite counter tops, a two-car garage and driveway, two and a half bathrooms, and a washer and dryer. Best deal ever!
But of course, living in off-campus university housing has its big catch; you have to take the shuttle to and from campus. I understand that parking is a huge issue on campus since there isn’t more space to accommodate the greater numbers of Forest Hills, Savin Court, Regency, and Main Street, but come on, the shuttle is oh so inconvenient.
When I need to be on campus for class, I need to plan to be on a shuttle so that I get on campus with almost an hour to spare. Half the time this is because of somewhat poor scheduling.
First, the shuttle schedule doesn’t coordinate with class times, so when I have a 10:50 a.m. class, I can’t take the 10:30 a.m. shuttle because it doesn’t get to campus until 10:55 a.m. So, instead I need to take the 10:00 a.m. and waste a half hour. This isn’t that bad, but what if the shuttle is early, late, or doesn’t show up? I’m not allowed to park on campus, so should I just be a half hour late to class? Another issue arises when both shuttles go on break at the same time. Why bother to have two shuttles? A friend of mine is “stuck” on campus for an extra hour because, following his class, both shuttles go on break. It also seems stupid that a 5-8 minute drive manages to take 25-30 minutes by shuttle. I understand that the shuttle makes stops at all off-campus locations, but if I drive to the stops, I can make it much faster than that (legally of course).
Regardless of shuttle timing, the drivers are another story. So far I’ve had experiences ranging from a friendly, talkative driver at 7 a.m. to someone who can hardly drive and taps on the brakes every two seconds panicing while backing up to turn around. Additionally, some of the drivers disregard their routes and rules, heading to a stop ahead of schedule because someone asks them to, or dropping people off on the side of the road at a stop sign. I’m not going to try and convince any one that I wouldn’t appreciate the shuttle going out of its way for me, but to be safe and fair, the drivers shouldn’t follow every passenger’s request.
In the end, I still love my condo and wouldn’t trade it just so I could live on campus, but a fully reliable shuttle would be nice. I think the shuttle schedule should account for getting students on campus for classes and not five minutes after the class started. Sure, an extra half hour on campus never killed anybody, but for my late night Wednesday physics lab, I don’t want to wait for a shuttle or be bored on campus with too little time to do anything productive. Thank you UNH for the great housing opportunity, but can you make sure that the shuttles you’re paying for do what they’re supposed to in a smart and efficient way?
P.S. it’d be great if the drivers listened to music other than Hot 93.7; that station plays the same songs on a cycle over and over. I’ve heard Sean Kingston’s “Letting Go (Dutty Love)” more times than anyone should in a lifetime. Thanks, I appreciate it. :)