By: Abbey Morelli, News Editor
Furman’s Police Department implemented a new route for the morning and afternoon shuttle to and from academic buildings beginning Wed. Nov. 28. In an interview, Chief Milby explained the reasoning for the changes as well as the current and future goals for Saferide and shuttle services. Furman police has been working with Will Sanders and the rest of SGA to achieve their goals.
There are currently five different shuttle services offered on campus, the shuttle to Walmart on Tuesdays, to downtown on weekend nights, and the evening Saferide will remain unchanged. The evening Saferide purpose remains to be that of a safety tool for students to use when it is dark. They can call the driver and be picked up from their location and dropped off at their car or room until 2am.
Chief Milby explained that their goal is to make the morning and afternoon shuttles more reliable. He said “The morning shuttle and the afternoon shuttle were really designed to drive a fixed route.” Now they answer calls from people all over campus and have been catering to requests more than they can fulfill. The new route will begin at North Village building J, and continue on to the dining hall, then the library, the PAC, and the Chapel. It will then stop again at the library and the dining hall, completing the route back to North Village J. “They should be able to drive the route four times in an hour, so if you know every 15 minutes that shuttle is gonna be at North Village J, it starts to be a little more reliable for folks that are trying to use it” Milby said.
The new added structure may not be able to accommodate every student, but will still be able to get them closer to where they are trying to go. Milby then noted two more ways that the morning and afternoon shuttles are essential. He explains that they are noticing an increase in traffic collisions on campus. Students will back out of the North Village parking lot without looking and collide with oncoming cars driving too fast. He says “I would love to think that if more people took advantage of the shuttle and didn’t drive, if we increase ridership, there would be a decrease in traffic accidents.” Encouraging students to utilize the shuttles and avoid driving to the Chapel lot can also be productive from a sustainability standpoint.
Students may be worried that if they wait at a stop long enough and the shuttle does not come on time, then they will be late to their class. He said “If you wave them down they should stop and pick you up, absolutely.” They will continue to run as they do, though the drivers may no longer answer specific phone calls to be picked up. Milby would also like to clarify that students who need medical needs or any other special accommodations can always call the police department 24/7 for an escort.
As a future goal, the Furman Police is working with computer science students to determine if there is a way to make a visual with a tracker so students can see where the shuttle and Saferide currently are on campus.