Dioslyn Oliva | Staff Writer
FIU provides its students, faculty and staff shuttle service between its Modesto Maidique and Biscayne Bay campuses. As a student who works at BBC and attends class at MMC, I use the shuttle frequently to get to and from MMC. For the most part, the service is reliable and effective but has slight issues that cause a great inconvenience to its users.
For instance, I’ve witnessed students left behind because the shuttle can’t take them. It typically happens during the first week of the semester and throughout the semester on busy days like Tuesdays and Thursdays, especially during the afternoon. It also happens during special events on either campus, like tailgates or comedy shows.
Students and other users pay for this service through our transportation fee, which we pay semesterly, and the five-dollar fee non-students pay every time they ride the shuttle. We all deserve a guaranteed seat when we need to use the shuttle.
FIU runs on the idea that both campuses are one university. This idea is why the shuttle rides are paid through fees. FIU should honor its commitment to both campuses being one university by ensuring students can be seated on shuttles.
It’s a continuous issue throughout the year. FIU should find permanent solutions to address these issues and decide how to approach meeting the demand for shuttle service.
I have suggestions. To meet demand, they should use what vehicles they already have. For instance, they should consider using vehicles similar to those used to service the CATS routes.
I’ve seen FIU do this during this past spring semester, which helped alleviate the demand for service between the campuses. If a regular shuttle bus is packed, there’d be backup transportation to transport students instead of stranding them.
Considering recent budget cuts and rising costs, it’s understandable if this isn’t feasible. However, the university must consider that when students aren’t able to catch the shuttle from either campus, they risk being late to class or any other obligation they have on the other campus. It’s also a disservice to students that expect transportation, guaranteed to them when they pay fees, to be stranded.
These shuttles are vital to students as well as other members of the FIU community. It is in the university’s best interest to find a solution to this problem.
Correction: An earlier version of the article said tuition is what guarantees transportation. It’s fees.
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