Shuttle catastrophe

Tyrell Walden-Martin

The date was Aug. 31 and I was standing at the South Lot shuttle stop. I was waiting for a Hamden shuttle to take me to the plaza so that I could run some last-minute errands, such as getting groceries and other things for my room.

I waited a full hour at the stop, wondering why the shuttle was running so late, so I decided to call Public Safety to get a location on the shuttle.

After she picked up, I asked where the Hamden shuttle was, and her answer surprised me. She said that it wasn’t coming and that the Hamden shuttle had been discontinued. Instead there would be a shuttle to North Haven replacing it.

Now, when she first told me this, I was a bit excited. When she said North Haven shuttle, I immediately thought there would be a shuttle traveling to the North Haven campus to accommodate the health science students taking classes in the area.

I have many friends who have complained for years that a shuttle to the North Haven campus was needed. They were upset because it forced them to have to pay a taxi to bring them to class, to carpool or even to buy a car to get around.

I regret to inform the public that nothing has changed—there still isn’t a shuttle to the North Haven campus. This new shuttle just goes to the shopping areas.

Now there are many issues with these new changes. If the Hamden shuttle had to be cut to make room in the budget for a shuttle to the North Haven campus, then I am sure many people, including myself, would not have a problem with it.

I mean, North Haven has its own shopping places, grocery stores and even a movie theater, so if a shuttle can take the students shopping there and still bring others to the campus for class then sacrifices have to be made.

But that’s not the case. In a recent interview with The Chronicle about the changes in shuttle service, Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell said, “As part of the upgrade, service was extended to North Haven, where we believe there is a wider variety of retail, restaurant and entertainment options for our students.”

I have been a resident in Hamden for the past 10 years, so I am very familiar with the Greater New Haven area. I can agree that North Haven has more entertainment options, but I cannot agree that the change is a better upgrade for more retail and restaurant options. Hamden has Old Navy, the Gap, Marshalls and TJ Maxx for your shopping needs. The town also has Chili’s, Friday’s, Panera Bread and IHOP for your eating needs.

But there are bigger issues, such as convenience.

Quinnipiac is located within the town of Hamden. The drive from the university to the Hamden plaza takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes. The entire shuttle route from leaving campus and returning was only 50 minutes.

The North Haven shuttle is a longer ride, since it is in a different town. The total time for a full ride is 70 minutes.

The university will end up regretting this decision sooner than later.

Over the years. Quinnipiac has wanted to make Hamden a college town. The university has even built relationships with various businesses located in the town so that students can use their QCash at places like Chili’s and ShopRite.

If students do not have transportation to these locations via the Hamden shuttle, the university will surely lose many business relationships within the town.

It will be hard to make Hamden a college town if the local businesses that they have partnered with refuse to support them in the future.

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