MU
Oak Leaves

February 12, 2016

Shuttle_Schedule_by_Screengrab

New Transportation Available from Campus

Karen Kanyike

Although North Manchester is a small town, it can feel large to students because it does not have a reliable public transportation system. How do students without their own vehicles find their way around the town and areas beyond? How can these students gain access to grocery stores and restaurants?

The answer was “by foot or bicycle”—until now.

The Office of Admissions recently created the Spartan Shuttle service to help solve the issue of transportation. Shanon Fawbush, director of Student Activities and Orientation is responsible for coordinating this program.

“The Spartan Shuttle service is a free transportation service for MU students,” Fawbush said. “[It was implemented] to assist and serve students on campus that do not have access to their own mode of transportation although it is also available to students that do have their own vehicles.”

The Office of Admissions introduced a pilot program in fall 2015 and eight students took advantage of it. The program provided transportation to places such as CVS Pharmacy, Casey’s, New Market, Dollar Store, and restaurants like McDonald’s and El Mezquite. “This semester we are offering many more trips to a wider variety of locations,” Fawbush said. “Hopefully the response will be positive.”  Walmart in Huntington, Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne and Panda Express in Warsaw are some of the new locations that have been added to the transportation schedule.

“I admire the fact that Manchester provides such a service to its students,” said Darlene Melvin, a first-year secondary education major from Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's great to know that I won't always be at a loss if I don't have a car on campus.

“Furthermore,” Melvin continued, “carpooling in general saves money and reduces the amount of pollution that multiple cars would produce in the same trip, which is a big plus. I think if more people knew about/utilized the Spartan Shuttle service, trips to the mall would be more like a field trip than a chore.” Melvin is a Resident Assistant for East Hall and is planning to use this service to take her residents to Glenbrook Mall today. 

Jiwoo Park, a sophomore psychology major from Irvine, California, appreciates the convenience of Spartan Shuttle. “I like this program because it makes it easier for me to travel,” she said. “It’s especially useful for international students, [most of whom] do not have cars.” During the fall semester of her first year, she walked with a friend of hers to McDonald’s and it took them one and a half hours to get there.

Anthea Ayebaze, a first year biology-chemistry major from Kampala, Uganda, agreed that the shuttle benefits international students who have no way to bring a vehicle to campus.

Fawbush now takes on the task of preparing a transportation schedule that features the various locations, travel dates and times. The travel dates were determined based on student feedback from a recent survey. In order to participate in the program, students need to sign up prior to each trip by sending an email to Fawbush at slfawbush@manchester.edu. “It is a work in progress and I am very open to feedback,” she said.