Shuttle bus service faces uncertainty

University considers all options regarding shuttle service


Photo: Diana Colapietro

Shuttle bus service is still in question after SGI meets with executive vice president, Martha Hirst.

The fate of the shuttle bus service is still inconclusive after SGI Executive members met with the University’s Vice President, Martha Hirst on Thursday, Feb 6.

“The University is considering all shuttle service options and no decisions have been made at this time,” Jackie Lochrie, associate dean of student services, said in a statement.

Speculation started swirling about the shuttle bus service last semester after Student Government Inc. posted a survey in November asking for students to evaluate bus services provided by the University.

Elizabeth Sheehan, president of SGI, said the survey acquired 643 anonymous responses and then discussed those results with Hirst on Thursday.

The results showed that 100 percent of the polled population would be affected if the University were to terminate the shuttle services, but in varying degrees: 92 percent would strongly disagree with the university discontinuing the service, and seven percent would simply disagree and one percent would agree, according to Sheehan.

“We concluded from the results that many students are dependent on this particular service, and that sustaining the Manhattan shuttle is a necessity for upholding the Metropolitan Mission of the University and the academic success of students especially those in the School of Risk Management,” Sheehan said. “We also saw the tremendous value that exists in the shuttle service as a means of unifying all of the St. John’s campus so we asked the administration to consider exploring expanded shuttle service to Staten Island.”

Sheehan added that out of the 643 who took the poll, 544 individuals stated they use the Manhattan shuttle.

SGI spoke with the Staten Island Student Executive Board and found that many students from that borough take the ferry to the Manhattan campus to use the shuttle to go to the Queens campus, as the Staten Island shuttle only travels once in the morning and back at night.

SGI also said that in the comments section, some students stated the shuttle service helped influence their decision to attend St. John’s.

Junior Bailey Noone stressed that removing the shuttle service would turn into a financial burden for her.

“For the amount of times I go back and forth between Queens and Manhattan, I would be broke from public transportation and uneasy traveling alone if the shuttle discontinued. Living and studying in Manhattan and knowing that I would be provided transportation was one of the main reasons I came to St. John’s. I would hate to see such a unique and special program that so many people feel passionate about suffer because a simple yet essential service to students be no longer catered to.”

“If the bus service were to be terminated, it would inconvenience a lot of students,” sophomoreMalcolm Catwell said. “We depend on the shuttle as an easy, quick, and safe way to get to campus and the train stations. I’d be more stressed without it, especially in bad weather or at night, because I would be forced to walk 15 to 20 minutes by myself, usually with a heavy bag on my back.”

“Student Government is dedicated to continuing dialogues with University administrators to advocate for the students, especially when it comes to important resources such as the shuttle,” Sheehan said.