Opinion: BC Shuttle satisfies few, confuses many, angers one

Let’s play a game called “Who knows where to catch a bus at 11:30 on a Saturday?”

Stumped Irish faces

This game is no fun; there are rarely winners. Actually, the winners are those who give up and take a cab because they recognize that trying to determine where to catch a bus at any given time on this campus is a futile game. The BC bus system needs serious work.

The mysteries don’t end: Who knows where to get the bus from campus in the middle of the day? If there are two busses running, why would any of them need to wait at Conte for an undisclosed amount of time? What does "O'Neill Plaza" Route mean? Why are there not more busses added on weekend nights, if BC hates drunken renditions of “Sweet Caroline” as much as I do? Trying to answer these questions is like asking your friends whether Addie's Loft is open; it is all based on speculation, and you will probably be wrong. And hungry.

Even babies are at the mercy of the capricious shuttle system

Solution: Have more busses. I don’t need to posit upon how much tuition money we all spend to be here. The shuttle system is an appreciated service, we are grateful, blah blah blah. The TransLoc app is nice too, but its only practical use is telling you how much longer you'll have to wait at the bus stop where you are already waiting. So seriously; get more busses. If this is some noble attempt to save money…I respond: flower beds. Or the renovation of Gasson. Or the bi-weekly manicured lawns. Or the recent hike of all the Hillside prices and creation of new inconvenient convenience stores. This is a shorthand list of all the places where money is flowing and where we could divert it right into the bus system.

Second, less satisfactory, solution: Instead of investing millions in getting whole new beautiful busses (If you're wondering why we got those, ask your bus driver; it's funny), how about we pay an Eagle Print fee and post some more flyers about when the busses run. Or, we can get real high-tech and make the bus schedule public knowledge, aka easily accessible online, with a place for “questions and comments” (as opposed to just a list of stops and "hours of operation"). This would be where I would voice my grievances, in the form of this EPIC, TRUE story…. 

Last Saturday morning dawned full of promise. I had to be at Resevoir T stop by 11:30, to lead a group of young people on an adventure in Boston. At 10:58, I was walking through the Plex lot from Lower, gulping down a Veggie Egg McBC with a coffee in hand, when I saw the bus pull by me, then stop at Conte. I didn't run for it, partly because I figured I would catch the next one, partly because usually the busses wait for 2-10 minutes in front of Conte, and partly because nobody wants to be this guy:

 

I soon realized that, like Gob, I had made a huge mistake. I waited 22 minutes before another bus showed up. I kept naively thinking that another bus was right around the corner and I shouldn't give up waiting. When the bus didn't leave immediately from Conte, presumably to wait for more people (again, who knows why they do that), I was so incensed, I took a picture of just how crowded the bus was. This is despite the fact that my phone is a knockoff BlackBerry, probably purchased for $10 and a high-five on the corner of 5th and Broadway. It can’t send pictures, let alone connect to the internet. But I took it anyways. Here is an image of what the bus looked like. Except with angrier people.

And yet…he continued to wait. I hovered near the front, smoke coming from my ears, and after 4 minutes (It is now 11:26) finally asked, “when is the bus going to be leaving? We have all been here for 22 minutes.”  The driver responded, very apologetically, that the bus would leave at 11:30, that it runs every half hour on Saturdays.


                                                                                                     ...........

Now I KNOW this information was posted nowhere at the bus stop. I know this because in my wait of 22 minutes, I had ample time to read and re-read every piece of literature posted in that confounded overhang. Not one word about busses running every half hour on Saturdays.

DO YOU THINK THAT IF (deep breaths…) Do you think that if I had known busses came every half hour, and I saw one pull away in front of me at 10:59, that I would have waited 30 MINUTES for the next scheduled one to leave, knowing I had to be somewhere at 11:30?

NO. A thousand times NO.

At 11:30, amid gripes from other passengers, the bus finally left, making sure to stop at McElroy and Main Gate (oh, so direct of you, Eagle Direct…what does that even mean anyways?), and got me to Reservoir at 11:42. Proving that I, in fact, could have walked, and gotten there sooner. From now on, I will be spending my tuition money on pimping out a better form of transportation:

Arise, my noble steed! Mary Ann's awaits!

Comments