Shuttle fails to spark interest

February 25, 2000

Nick Marinello

An experiment to relieve parking congestion on campus by providing free shuttle service to off-campus parking space has failed, says Ken Dupaquier, director of public safety.

"At this point in time there is no interest in parking off campus and being shuttled back to the university," said Dupaquier, who estimated that the shuttle, which operated for 10 working days between Feb. 7 and Feb. 18, averaged about three passengers a day.

Passengers were shuttled between parking spaces made available at Uptown Square and a drop-off point located at the corner of Freret Street and McAlister Drive.

"If we would have had around 100 passengers a day we would have something to carefully look at and consider," said Dupaquier.

It was not the first time that such an experiment produced less than stellar results, said Dupaquier. The university implemented a similar plan for one semester approximately 10 years ago. "It was a flop," said Dupaquier.

A free shuttle to Uptown Square also was run during last fall semester's final-exam period. "The idea was to provide an alternative for students so they would not have to hunt for a parking place before their tests," he said. "Our driver picked up one rider during seven exam days."

Dupaquier speculates that perhaps the lack of interest can be attributed to the local culture. "People here are not acclimated to mass transit," he said. "They would rather hunt around for a parking place than arrive 15 minutes earlier and take a shuttle."

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