As a student from California, there are few things I love more than being on campus here in Hamden. While it may not always be the case when we are being barraged by snow and rain, the breathtaking scenery of Quinnipiac and mellow nature of Hamden is what brought me here in the first place, and the amazing friends I have made in my short time here is what has kept me around.
While coming to school here has been a blessing and a drastic change of pace from the high-paced life of Los Angeles, the lack of school transportation makes getting onto campus a near impossibility. With the school housing a diverse population from all over not only the country but the world, an airport shuttle is necessary to help make our lives slightly less complicated.
Coming from out of state, I am already burdened with the responsibility of my flight costs. While it is a required cost that my family and I have no issue paying, my flights home average a minimum of $400, which is a very expensive cost to consistently pay. Yet, the university makes it even more difficult for students who need to fly home with the process of getting to the airport.
A majority of flights depart from either Bradley Airport in Hartford or John F. Kennedy in New York City, yet there is no airport shuttle offered. However, the university offers a ferry shuttle for Long Island students, and a train shuttle to New Haven for others.
Without help to arrange travel, out-of-state students are left with the additional burden of figuring out a mode of transportation to the airport, as well as paying the additional cost of an Uber or taxi to get to campus.
Without surge rates included, an Uber to Bradley costs at least $75 one way, and a one way Uber to JFK comes in at $150+. That adds up to upwards of $150 to $300 just to get to and from campus. Despite Uber now being conditionally allowed on campus, Public Safety is inclined to send your Uber driver away, causing the student to not only pay a cancellation fee for the ride, but scramble for a last minute mode of transportation or risk missing their flight, a scenario which I experienced on three separate occasions last year as a freshman while Uber was still banned. Even with the rules now permitting Uber on main campus, this is still an experience several students have gone through this year even with the new regulations in place.
While some students, myself included, ship their car back east to have on campus, the cost of parking my car overnight at the airport is also excessive. When I went home for Thanksgiving break, it cost $80 to leave my car in Hartford for the week, and it cost over $140 to leave my car by JFK for spring break. Add in the cost of gas used, as well as the money spent on tolls, and you are almost better off taking an Uber despite being able to drive yourself.
Meanwhile, if the school offered a shuttle from campus to or from any airport, I know myself and all of my out-of-state friends would plan their flights around being picked up or dropped off by that shuttle. So long as the school gives far enough advance, they may only need to offer one shuttle, as everyone would work their itinerary around its departure.
The shuttle doesn’t even need to be a complimentary service, as many students would be happy to pay a minor fee for the shuttle since there is no chance it dwarfs the triple digit sums that we would have to pay otherwise. While the shuttle is also a convenience for those flying, it can also represent an opportunity for students who live near airports to get home.
With many students living close to Hartford, or with Hartford being a halfway point for many Massachusetts residents, several of those students may opt to take the shuttle as well, as it is a more convenient way to meet up with their parents and return home. So while the shuttle would be a great help to students who fly home, there is a distinct appeal that would make the shuttle a useful resource to the entire student body.
With flights already being critically expensive, extra stress and costs shouldn’t come into play. It is due to this increased burden on traveling students that Quinnipiac should add the aiport shuttle, not only to eliminate hundreds of dollars in unneeded expenses, but to help the students who fly in feel more welcome and at home here at Quinnipiac.
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