Montclair State University students are lucky enough to be blessed with campus shuttles. Without them, getting from Lot 60 to University Hall at seven in the morning would be a total nightmare.
Nonetheless, all students must do is sit down on the black steel benches and wait for a shuttle to arrive. But when you wait thirty minutes for a shuttle, it can be a little irritating.
Before anyone gets riled up, it’s important to remember this is not the fault of the shuttle drivers by any means. If you have ever been on one of the campus shuttles you would know they are continuously driving for hours on end.
If you have ever been upset that a campus shuttle driver is skipping a stop, know that it’s due to the fact they are going on break or going home.
Cheryl Ofoha, the evening shuttle supervisor at Montclair State University, explained the reason for drivers skipping stops.
“Yes, we are aware that the drivers skip stops when they are either going on break or when their shifts are about to end because it would be very difficult for them to take breaks if they do not,” Ofoha said. “They are instructed to pick passengers up at University Hall, but must let the passengers know that Lot 60 is the last stop. If the drivers do not do that, then they will have to continue the routes all over and then would not be able to take a break or go home.”
Another issue students face is not having a clear and reliable way of knowing when a shuttle is coming. This can make students late for class if they cannot properly plan ahead.
We used to have the NextBus Bus Tracking App, however, it has been discontinued.
“The NextBus Bus Tracking App was discontinued because the vendor no longer supported the application. We are actively working to find a suitable replacement,” Ofoha said. “We are confident whatever solution we select will be an improvement.”
When Ofoha does clarify why the shuttle system is the way it is, it makes sense. And we recognize that the shuttle system will never be perfect, but there still needs to be some sort of improvement.
We know they can never improve the traffic situation without the construction on Route 46 being complete. But we would love the new shuttle tracking app as soon as possible.
It’s refreshing to know that they are actively working on improving the shuttle tracking app. However, Montclair State just invested $27 million in the Workday app.
The Workday app is used by students and faculty to keep tabs on their work schedules, pay and other features.
If Montclair State can afford $27 million to expand an app currently used by only the people who have jobs on campus, they can most certainly invest in an app used by students who utilize our campus shuttle system, which is a majority of them.
Students know that we have been without a campus shuttle app for quite some time now. How much longer will it take?
There are plenty of existing shuttle tracking apps such as BusWhere. It’s understandable that these things take time, but it shouldn’t be as long as it’s been.
Getting the new tracking app off the ground would make a lot of students’ days much easier.
With that all being said, to all Montclair State campus shuttle drivers, we thank you for helping students get around on this very hilly campus. We are eternally grateful for the luxury of campus shuttles.