Campus shuttles cause issues for students

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Campus shuttles cause issues for students

Winona State University students wait in line to get on the shuttle to west campus. There have been some inconsistencies with the shuttle system that have been inconveniencing students.

Winona State University students wait in line to get on the shuttle to west campus. There have been some inconsistencies with the shuttle system that have been inconveniencing students.

Morgan Reddekopp

Winona State University students wait in line to get on the shuttle to west campus. There have been some inconsistencies with the shuttle system that have been inconveniencing students.

Morgan Reddekopp

Morgan Reddekopp

Winona State University students wait in line to get on the shuttle to west campus. There have been some inconsistencies with the shuttle system that have been inconveniencing students.

Morgan Reddekopp, News Reporter

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Recently students have been complaining about inconsistencies in the schedules of the shuttles from both west campus and East Lake Apartments.

According to Winona State University’s director of security Chris Cichosz, there is a difference between weekday and weekend schedules.

“On the weekends, the vans start at 9 a.m., holidays as well, and they still go until 2:30 a.m.,” Cichosz said.

On weekdays, three types of shuttles are available to pick students up from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Cichosz said that in many cases, student complaints about the shuttle taking too long come from students who had just missed the shuttle or who are over exaggerating their wait time.

“On a rare occasion, we do [get complaints]. Often times it’s [from] students that just missed [the shuttle], students that have only been waiting a couple of minutes and then call and say they’ve been waiting a half hour,” Cichosz said. “We have cameras at all those locations so we can double check and see if it’s accurate.”

On the other side of this issue is ‘Greg’, a student who wished to remain anonymous.

Greg lived on west campus for two years before moving to East Lake Apartments this year. Winona State shuttles have always been a part of his college life.

According to Greg, at East Lake a person calls in to security to see if the shuttle is running. However, he has had issues with it, even when it is running.

“Sometimes they don’t show up at all or for a long time,” Greg said.

One incident in particular stands out in Greg’s mind.

At 9 or 10 p.m., the East Lake Apartments’ shuttle stops picking student up at Memorial Hall and instead picks them up near Kryzsko Commons, according to Greg. Greg’s incident took place one or two hours before this cutoff.

Greg had just finished a meeting and walked over to Memorial Hall, where he waited for the shuttle. Eventually, he got tired of waiting and called the shuttle and was told that a shuttle driver would pick him up at Memorial Hall shortly.

He waited 10-15 more minutes before calling in again.

He was told that the shuttle had been sent to East Lake, instead of Memorial Hall. After he explained that he was in Memorial Hall, Greg was told that he would need to walk to Kryzsko Commons in order to be picked up.

“There have been times where they’ve driven from west campus and driven past Memorial [Hall] before, and I know that it isn’t very far out of their way to do that. (Kryzsko) is all the way on the opposite end of campus,” Greg said.

The inconsistencies in the two shuttles inconveniences various students.

“Two of my roommates tend to drive or walk to campus more because it is more convenient for them, especially at night. I also often walk to campus because [the shuttle’s] timing isn’t the greatest and walking would be faster than waiting for the next shuttle. However, this will be difficult in the winter season,” Greg said.

According to Cichosz, there are various reasons for the inconsistencies in the shuttle schedule.

“Sometimes there are traffic issues, which you wouldn’t think of because we are in Winona, but they exist,” Cichosz explained. “There’s the train, whether it’s a long train coming through or it’s a stopped train and sometimes a driver needs to get gas or stop and use the restroom.”

Earlier this year, there was a shortage of shuttle drivers.

“We made a big push to hire more van drivers to help relieve some of that pressure,” Cichosz said.

Currently, there are about 12-14 van drivers.

However, despite its inconsistencies, the shuttle system is appreciated by many students.

“It is a very convenient service that is needed and there are some very nice shuttle drivers,” Greg said.