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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Shuttle Shuffle: Quinnipiac overhauls shuttle system, spends $100,000 relocating Mount Carmel stop

Quinnipiac University partnered with a new transportation company to launch a revamped intercampus shuttle system this fall, Chief of Public Safety Tony Reyes and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett announced in a university-wide email on Aug. 16.

Reyes and Ellett said the university’s new shuttle service provider, Valet Park of America, will reduce student travel and wait times by operating additional shuttles on redesigned routes between Quinnipiac’s campuses and several local shopping and dining districts.

We are thrilled to offer enhanced shuttle service to a number of on- and off-campus locations,” Reyes and Ellett wrote. “We believe the improvements will help students get off to a great start for the new academic year.”

VPA’s campus transportation system, which is scheduled to begin service on Aug. 21, is set to feature eight intercampus shuttles in total — two more than ProPark, Quinnipiac’s previous transportation service, offered. 

The new shuttles in the VPA’s lineup vary in size, with the smallest accommodating only 12 passengers and the largest carrying 25. But, in comparison, ProPark’s largest shuttles were equipped to carry as many as 43 passengers.

The new service will also include a seven-passenger accessible van to transport students with disabilities on the Mount Carmel Campus amid ongoing South Quad construction, Reyes and Ellett said. Students must be registered with the university’s Office of Student Accessibility to use the intra-campus van, which is scheduled to operate on a “request and go” basis between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

And, notably, six of VPA’s shuttles are accessible for students who use mobility aids, including wheelchairs — triple the number of accessible shuttles ProPark offered.

Cailinn Stockman, a first-year graduate social work student at Quinnipiac who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, said both accessibility updates come as welcome news.

“I just hope that people will feel like they’re more able to navigate campus without having to worry about whether they’re going to be able to get back and forth,” said Stockman, who has cerebral palsy and uses an electric scooter. “Because I know that was kind of my biggest concern.”

Stockman said her experiences riding the ProPark shuttles were mostly positive but noted that the lack of accessible shuttles — combined with constant delays and, consequently, hurried drivers — sometimes made it difficult to travel between the campuses with her scooter.

“With the lack of shuttles, that meant that you’d have to kind of tailor your schedule around when they would either leave or arrive,” Stockman said. “And so, I think that that just means that anyone who’s in need of an accessible shuttle will have a lot more freedom.”

Five shuttles — two Bobcat Transit Loop shuttles and three Mount Carmel/York Hill Express Loop shuttles — will run continuously between Quinnipiac’s main undergraduate campuses during peak weekday hours.

The North Haven Campus shuttle will continue to run hourly on weekdays, and a newly implemented shuttle will transport students to and from the Westwoods parking lot from the Mount Carmel Campus on weekdays.

During off-peak hours and on weekends, the two Bobcat Transit Loop shuttles will continue to operate between Quinnipiac’s two main undergraduate campuses. 

VPA will also offer students the opportunity to travel via shuttle to several local shopping plazas in either North Haven or Hamden on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The system will also feature a shuttle service to Union Station and downtown New Haven on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The VPA partnership announcement came as Quinnipiac approached the beginning of its seventh year with ProPark. However, the university’s final two years with its previous shuttle service provider were marked by stop changes, loop reroutes, one shuttle crash and student dissatisfaction.

Ella Madden, a senior 3+1 film, television and media arts major, called ProPark’s services “the biggest pain,” noting that the shuttles were consistently delayed and difficult to track.

“The ProPark app and the ProPark services, I just felt like, were really not working,” Madden said. “It makes me really optimistic that they’ve heard our concerns.”

The Quinnipiac University Student Government Association, which collaborated over the last two years with the Department of Public Safety to address student frustrations with the old shuttle system, called the shift from ProPark to VPA a “significant change for university transportation infrastructure.”

“Last school year, our committee worked to collect data about different aspects of the old shuttle provider,” wrote Sarah Almeida, SGA’s vice president for operations, in an Aug. 17 press release posted to the organization’s Instagram page. “After a year of work with the Student Safety Ad Hoc committee and Chief Reyes, I am excited to see the change that comes with the switch in Shuttle Providers.”

Reyes noted that students can now use Passio GO!, a smartphone app available for download on both iPhone and Android, to track the VPA shuttles in real-time.

Several students described the shift away from the ProPark shuttle tracking app as a major step toward improved service.

“It was really just like a guessing game,” said Madden, who described struggling to take the shuttle to Whitney Village when she worked at the university’s Integrated Marketing and Communications center. “It’s like, ‘OK, I guess I should just set aside this abnormally large amount of time, so that way, I can not only hike over to the lot and wait out in the rain for a shuttle that I have no idea is even coming.’”

Damon Adams, a sophomore health science studies major who is involved in Quinnipiac’s theater programs, added that the tracking app’s inaccuracy often made it difficult to get to and from the Theatre Arts Center on Sherman Avenue.

“It definitely was always hard because if I had a class in that building or I had an extracurricular in the building, then I could be at that shuttle stop for a solid half hour just waiting to get picked up,” Adams said. “I think the most important thing is that the timing of when they’re going to arrive is accurate.” 

The challenges posed by ProPark’s inconsistent tracking system, Stockman said, were only further complicated by the lack of accessible shuttles. In one instance, she said the combination of ProPark’s shoddy tracking system and the lack of accessible shuttles nearly forced her to miss a final exam.

“There weren’t any accessible shuttles that were coming around, so I had to call the shuttle company about maybe four times,” Stockman said. “And then I think I waited outside for about 45 minutes after that.”

The shuttle system overhaul will coincide with the second relocation of the Mount Carmel Campus shuttle stop since last fall. The new stop on the Mount Carmel Campus is located on New Road behind the Echlin Center.

University officials previously relocated the main campus’ stop to the Harwood Gate Lot after shuttering the South Lot stop last year to accommodate ongoing South Quad construction. However, Sal Filardi, vice president for facilities and capital planning, told the Chronicle last winter that administrators applied to move the stop once again after that location proved to be “very congested at certain times.”

Building permits indicate that the New Road shuttle pull-off — for which the university received town approval in April — cost approximately $100,000 to construct.

Here’s a more detailed look at how the remodeled intercampus shuttle system will work this fall:

Bobcat Transit Loop

Shuttle color(s): Blue and Yellow

Stops: Mount Carmel Campus, York Hill Campus, Whitney Village*

Days of operation: Seven days a week

Hours of operation: 6 a.m.-1 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-1 a.m. on weekends

Frequency: Every 10 to 15 minutes during peak hours — between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. on weekends — and every 20 to 30 minutes otherwise

*The Whitney Village stop becomes a “request and go” on weekends and after 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Mount Carmel/York Hill Express Loop

Shuttle color(s): Red, Orange and Gold

Stops: Mount Carmel Campus, York Hill Campus, Theatre Arts Center

Days of operation: Weekdays

Hours of operation: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Frequency: Every five to 10 minutes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and every 10 to 15 minutes otherwise

Westwoods Loop

Shuttle color(s): Green

Stops: Mount Carmel Campus, Westwoods Parking Lot

Days of operation: Weekdays

Hours of operation: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Frequency: Every five to 10 minutes

North Haven Campus Loop

Shuttle color(s): Purple

Stops: Mount Carmel Campus, York Hill Campus, Whitney Village, North Haven Campus

Days of operation: Weekdays

Hours of operation: 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

Frequency: Hourly, except between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

North Haven and Hamden Shopping Loops


  • North Haven loop: Mount Carmel Campus, Washington Avenue, Universal Drive
  • Hamden loop: Mount Carmel Campus, Dixwell Avenue

Days of operation: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday*

Hours of operation: 

  • 5 p.m.-9 p.m on Wednesdays
  • 6 p.m.-11 p.m. on Fridays
  • 2 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays
  • 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays

Frequency: Every 45 minutes to an hour

*The shuttle will run hourly routes to North Haven on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and will alternate between Hamden and North Haven on weekends. 

The North Haven loop includes stops near Stop & Shop, Target and several other shopping and dining options. The less-frequent Hamden shuttle will make stops near Stop & Shop, Walmart, TJMaxx, Staples and several restaurants.

Union Station/Downtown New Haven Loop

Stops: Mount Carmel Campus, York Hill Campus, Union Station, Intersection of Church Street and George Street in downtown New Haven 

Days of operation: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Hours of operation:

  • 6 p.m.-9:50 p.m. on Fridays
  • 8 a.m.-9:50 p.m. on Saturdays
  • 8 a.m.-7:05 p.m. on Sundays

Frequency: Scheduled stops


The full shuttle schedule for the fall semester is located on Quinnipiac’s website.

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