Transportation woes: just another UNH problem

Gabby Nowicki

Gabby-bwI’m from Maryland. That’s roughly 290 miles and a solid five hours away. My parents don’t want to drive back and forth every time there is a break—which is four times a year. I don’t have a car and I don’t know anyone that lives near Maryland that has a car. My only way of cheap transportation there and back is the train: Amtrak.

My freshmen year, I used the courtesy van to drop me off at Union Station and then pick me back up. This was such a nice, free way of transportation. I didn’t have to rely on other people or creepy, expensive taxis. It was stress free and something I did not think twice about.

Fast forward to a year later. The promise of a free ride to Union Station is no more. Just gone. Ripped away from me. So why did such a devilish thing have to happen to a poor soul such as myself? Because this university is cheap and thinks they know what is best for everyone. The new train station had just been built in West Haven and they made the executive decision to cut all ties with Union Station. This, in turn, screws over everyone that takes the Amtrak home, North or South. I know that my train, which runs from Boston to D.C., does not stop at the West Haven station. Truly, the only train that leaves out of that station is metro north.

So not only do I have to stress about getting to my train on time and finding a good seat but I have to now worry about how I am going to get there and back. I hate asking people for rides because gas is expensive and it takes time out of his or her busy schedule. The taxis are expensive and really creepy.

Recently, the school has come to their senses and added a special shuttle that runs to Union during breaks, such as the upcoming spring break. The new issue here is that I cannot utilize it at all because the times it runs are ridiculous. The only day it goes to Union is Friday, March 14, from 12-8 p.m.. Well, the majority of UNH students don’t have Friday classes and would rather go home as early as possible—a.k.a. Thursday, not Friday. Luckily, I am done with classes early on Thursday, but even when they ran until 5 p.m., I would still want to leave the school that night!

The other issue is coming back to school. The shuttle runs on Sunday, March 23, from 2-10 p.m. Sure, I would love to be back at school early, but the cheapest train I could get doesn’t get into New Haven until 10:30 p.m.

Maybe I just got really unlucky, but I took late trains last year and never had a problem. Maybe instead of the shuttle, UNH could use the courtesy vans again after 10 p.m. for those late stragglers like me. Also, whenever I did use the shuttle, I could never find where it stopped. I would try to find people that went to the university and we would search for the shuttle together. It seemed very unorganized compared to Quinnipiac and the Yale shuttle systems.