University Shuttle Bus Disappoints

BU Students Displeased with Shuttle System Inefficiency

David Ronan, Contributing Writer

The shuttle bus service at Bloomsburg University is designed to give students a seamless transportation service between upper and lower campuses, but many students are not satisfied with it.

The 15-to-20-minute wait time advertised on the bus schedule is sometimes not the true experience for those who rely on the service.  Ashley Robinson, a sophomore nursing major at BU said, “I find it to be unreliable. It is often late or unpredictable. It made me late for work.”

When asked about the issues that students have with the service, Bloomsburg University Transportation Manager Rich Yoder commented, “The drivers do the best they can to keep to the schedule, sometimes they may be delayed due to traffic or the number of students at each stop.”

The nationwide labor shortage could also play a role in some of the complaints that surround the shuttle.  Yoder says, “It has limited the number of CDL drivers. There is increased competition, making it difficult to find drivers,” and that they are currently in the hiring process.  However, this does not seem to be a recently developing issue.

When asked about her thoughts on the shuttle service, class of 2020 alumnus Meg Ronan replied, “You don’t always know if it will be there when you need it, it could be there in 5 or 25 minutes.”  Ronan attended Bloomsburg University from 2016-2020, which means she experienced 20% of the service’s 20-year history.

The buses’ performance in regard to time is not the only complaint received from students about it either.  Sharon Kulik, a sophomore communications major at Bloom said, “Some drivers don’t seem to enforce the COVID protocols.”

When questioned about what the service has done in response to the COVID pandemic, Yoder replied, “We have installed hand sanitizing stations at the door for student use, curtains around the drivers and masks are required to ride the bus. The drivers are responsible to wipe down all touch points in the bus and we purchased foggers to sanitize the buses.”

Some students like Brandon LeBoon, a junior finance major, say that they wish there was a way to track where shuttles are currently at with an app so that they can know how soon it will be approaching a certain stop.  This is not a new idea, however.

In past years, students at BU began development on a software application that would track buses and allow students to know where they were.  This plan has not come to fruition at Bloomsburg, but similar services are currently being used at surrounding colleges like Kutztown University, Pennsylvania State University, Point Park University, University of Pittsburgh, West Chester University, and York College.