The Loop offers transportation to off-campus merchants

The Student Finance Board (SFB) implemented The Loop, a bus service paid for by the Student Activities Fee. It is available to bring students to a number of different dining and shopping venues in Ewing and West Trenton starting on Feb. 18.

The Loop travels to the 7-11, Halo Farms, Blockbuster, The Dollar Store, The International House of Pancakes and Dunkin’ Donuts and picks up students every half hour in front of the Brower Student Center.

These services are available on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., and are free with a College ID.

According to SFB President Ren?e Marchioni, the suggestion for The Loop was presented to the board by the Office of Campus Life.

“We were very in tune to the idea,” Marchioni said. “It’s such a convenient way to get off campus.”

SFB helped to organize the transportation through Stout’s Bus Service.

“I’m a junior and I didn’t have a car until this semester,” Marchioni said. “I hated to inconvenience my friends when I needed to go somewhere.” Marchioni added that there really is nowhere off campus that is close enough to walk to, so The Loop offers a solution to many students.

With student organizations no longer allowed to use campus vans for insurance reasons, Marchioni feels that The Loop provides a convenient option for getting off campus.

“I think it’s a great time for this program to be implemented,” she said.

According to Marchioni, the board decided to run the service on Tuesdays and Fridays because of student availability.

“Students have more time, so I think these are the days they would most likely use the service,” she said.

Marchioni said The Loop’s stops were chosen because “the places are all different, and they’re close enough so you won’t spend half the night waiting for a ride back to campus.”

When asked about adding more days to The Loop’s schedule, Marchioni said that the SFB has to see how things go.

“We will hopefully get a great turnout and some good feedback from students,” she added.

SFB presently offers one bus, but hopes to add another if The Loop is popular with students.

Carrie Atkinson, junior journalism/professional writing major, said “The Loop would be good for freshmen that can’t have cars on campus, but I don’t think many upperclassmen will use it.”

Marchioni said that since the program began so recently, it is too early to tell how students will respond.

“Publicity is important, and hopefully when people hear about The Loop it will entice everyone to get off campus,” she said.

“All in all, I think we spent the Student Activities Funds wisely,” she added.

Elizabeth Gaglione, a freshman deaf education and history major, said she is unsure about whether she would utilize The Loop’s services.

“It depends on if I wanted to do something off campus, but I’m glad it’s provided for us,” she said.

According to Marchioni, The Loop will run for the remainder of the semester, and if successful, will continue to provide transportation into next year.