Students discover “Loop” holes in SFB-run shuttle service

Some students without cars on campus use the Loop, a free shuttle bus service, which travels to shopping centers, restaurants and the movies on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Due to a lack of advertising, however, many students don’t know the service is available.

The Loop runs on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Two school buses make the runs to the Local Loop and the Mall Loop.

The Local Loop stops at 7/11, Rita’s, IHOP, ShopRite, Blockbuster and Halo Farm.

The Mall Loop stops at AMC 24 Theatres, Quakerbridge Mall, Wal-Mart, Chevys, TJMaxx and the Olive Garden.

Those who learned of about the Saturday shuttle through the Guide to Residence Living or online through the Residence Life Web site were informed that the Saturday shuttle departs from noon to midnight from behind Travers and Wolfe, but it actually leaves from behind the student center starting at 7:00 p.m.

“It was really annoying because we waited outside Wolfe for a half hour (Saturday) and were really excited to go to the movies, but then we couldn’t even go,” Meghan Linck, freshman biology major, said.

Linck asked the Wolfe Hall office and Information Desk in the student center about the Saturday shuttle when it failed to show up behind Wolfe, but neither knew its whereabouts. The attendant at the information desk transferred a complaint call to the voicemail of Campus Life, since it is closed on the weekend.

The shuttle service Web page also provides a non-existent extension, 2376, for students to voice concerns or complaints about the service.

The Saturday Shuttle was run separately from the Loop until recently, when the services were combined.

The Student Finance Board’s (SFB) director of communications, Jared Breunig, is the first student manager of the Loop. Breunig said he was unaware of the misinformation online.

He said the lack of advertising of a Saturday’s shuttle service was his oversight.

“Supervision and responsibility of the Loop has been handed to a few different places and this is the first time it’s been delegated to a student,” Breunig said.

Lauren Svec, Freshman political science major, does not like this explanation.

“It’s understandable that all students have a lot going on between schoolwork, activities and life in general, but he has to realize that taking on a program like this, especially when it’s in its first stages, needs much time and consideration to get it working well,” Svec said.

Breunig said neither Web site nor the Guide to Residence Living have been updated since the Loop started.

The SFB chair from 2001-2002, Chris Sobotka, came up with the idea for the Loop and secured the approval and fund

ing for it.

“At this point, it’s still a new

process,” Breunig said.

“It’sreally a trial period for us to find out questions and concerns so we can figure out how to make it a more effective Loop bus.”

Updates to the Web site should be made within two weeks, Breunig said.

Students taking the Loop should be prepared to wait 40 minutes to an hour for pickup, Breunig added.

To prevent these situations, Breunig asks members of on-campus organizations to staff the bus and take head counts, so the same number of people who are dropped off will be picked up.

The difficulty in finding students willing to devote their time to this job, however, usually places the responsibility in the driver’s hands.

A hotline for students to call in and find out the location of their bus, not yet possible because Breunig does not have a contact information for the dispatcher at Stout’s, the school bus company running the service.