Canceling express shuttles put students at risk

Nick Solari

On Saturday night, Quinnipiac cancelled express shuttles to New Haven for the third time this semester.

The university sent out the same email it had during the first two occasions, saying the shuttles had been suspended due to the latest weather forecast. The hope, presumably, was that by cancelling the university-provided transportation system, students would stay off of the roads.

The problem was that some students didn’t—and that’s extremely dangerous.

Students who wanted to go to Toad’s Place, or anywhere else in New Haven, sought out other ways to commute into the city. Some wouldn’t let their Saturday, often highlighted by going to New Haven, be ruined by a little snow.

So what did they do? Most called an Uber or another taxi service to get them both to the city and back to campus. This is the same thing they did the first two times the express shuttles were cancelled, too.

The taxi services daring enough to take on the winter conditions came to both the Mount Carmel and York Hill campus and brought students to New Haven. And some students who didn’t want to pay for a taxi even drove themselves.

Of course, we can’t forget that alcohol is often directly correlated with Toad’s Place and New Haven in general, making the fend-for-yourselves attitude the university chooses when cancelling shuttles an even higher risk for its students.

Isn’t taking a taxi or driving more hazardous than taking the university’s shuttles? Shouldn’t Quinnipiac rather have its students be in the hands of paid, trained employees who can drive slow on the highways in wintery conditions?

Well they don’t. They let students fend for themselves.

Last night I left campus around 11 p.m. with my roommate to get food. I’ll be the first to acknowledge the fact that the roads weren’t in good condition, forcing me to drive my truck with extra caution.

As I was driving, my roommate and I were talking about how dangerous it would be to drive a smaller vehicle in this weather. And on the way back, our observations were confirmed.

When making the trek up York Hill, a taxi kept slipping around turns. Finally, it slowed down so much that we wondered if it would start rolling backward on the hill.

Bottom line: it clearly wasn’t safe for the taxi driver and the students inside the vehicle.

Senior finance major Jared Haite says he feels at risk when taking a taxi, especially in wintery conditions.

“Half of the taxis can’t even get up the hill by Dunkin Donuts let alone York Hill, plus they’re mostly two-wheel drive,” Haite said. “Even though it’s the students choice, the school is indirectly putting us in danger.”

Allie Bona, a junior physical therapy major, agrees with Haite, saying she feels students are not safe when taking taxis.

“It’s dangerous for students to take taxis or drive themselves,” Bona said. “It could also be dangerous for the shuttles to drive, but with Uber, most of the cars are little so it’s not safe.”

Haite also added that taking the shuttle is more safe because of the role alcohol plays in a night out in New Haven.

“People are going to be drinking, but you’re safer on the shuttle,” Haite said. “If you drive or even take a taxi, I feel like people are more tempted to bring alcohol with them, which can lead to many forms of trouble.”

It’s time for the university to acknowledge the fact that students are going to go out regardless of whether or not the shuttles are cancelled.

Having students drive or take a taxi might let the university off the hook in the off chance a student gets into an accident, but it doesn’t keep the students safe—which should be the first priority.

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