Caring for Carless Students

SCC’s little-known campus shuttle services


CREDIT: Joe Mabel

Wikimedia Commons GNU Free Image

Gem Arbogast, A&E Editor

Still wrapping my head around the beginning of winter quarter, I stepped off the E-Line bus into a chilly Tuesday. It was only about ten minutes before my first class. I braced myself for a walk up the steep sidewalk, between the old mid-demolition Sears and the unforgiving 160th traffic and for an eventual walk to my seat in English, late by a lot.

I became aware of a white van and a man yelling out the open driver’s window. I took back my complaints and thanked the safety of the populated area; I walked with purpose. The van followed. “Are you going to Shoreline?” the driver asked. Finally, I turned and took in the vehicle’s vaguely familiar stripes. I looked closer at its markings: “Paid for by Campus Safety and Security.”

I chatted with the driver as we made our way up the hill toward campus. He explained the shuttle service that SCC offers for students and staff, and even drove around to drop me off right outside my class. Now, every school morning, I get into a white van.

The campus shuttle runs from 7:45 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. For some evening events like the recent Neon Night dance, the shuttle service observes additional hours.

“I think there’s still a lot of students that don’t realize it exists,” says one of SCC’s part-time shuttle drivers, who goes by Butch or Dennis. He thinks that the lack of signage around campus is a contributing factor.

In addition to helping students get to and from the E-Line, SCC offers a shuttle service to local grocery stores like Fred Meyer for 7000 Campus Living residents. The grocery shuttle runs Mondays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Marketing doesn’t seem to be an issue here – several students agreed that this shuttle is often uncomfortably full of people and groceries.

Butch also addressed my initial concerns about safety. While a painted van is sometimes used, the shuttle is often unmarked. “Some of the students, also [get apprehensive], when they see this van – there’s no marking on it.” He added, “especially international students….”

This prompts a potential funding discussion. Sprucing up the shuttles may have the added benefit of spreading awareness to students who could benefit from them – bus riders and on-campus residents alike.