Connor McGowan ’15
As the school years first semester begins to come to a close, there has been a few changes that Merrimack has created to improve life on and off campus for its’ students. One of the changes Merrimack had implemented at the start of the year was the addition of a free shuttle bus that transports students from Merrimack’s campus over to the center of the Royal Crest apartments, located across route 114. Although the distance does not seem significant, the shuttle has created a free, easy, and most importantly safe way for students to go back and forth between the two areas. With 114 being very active with traffic for the majority of the day, there is no doubt students have enjoyed the benefits that have come with the addition of the shuttle bus. Yet, there has also been a few questions raised as to how efficient this system in place is, and if there could be any improvements made to make things easier for students who rely on the shuttle to get back and forth.
As good as its been to see Merrimack make a strong effort to improve the traveling situation for its’ students, there has been a couple ideas discussed by students that would possibly make the system in place be improved. When asked if he has enjoyed the shuttle bus, royal crest resident and Merrimack senior James Keely responded with,
“It was awesome to see the bus put in place, I’ve lived over here for two years now and have never been able to get a ride over to campus, so having the bus coming back and forth has been great. The only thing I struggle with is getting a consistent ride at a consistent time in order to be on time for my classes.”
Another Royal Crest resident/ Merrimack student, Johnny Casaletto also shared his opinion, adding, “The bus has been nice but I rarely use it. I’m not exactly sure about the timing of the stops and sometimes I just don’t feel like waiting, so I hardly ever use it. Although getting a ride back at any hour over the weekend has been extremely convenient and useful.”
The slight inconvenience comes from the fact that there are only two stops made, one being just outside Volpe and another being in the center of Royal Crest. A lot of people may not know how big Royal Crest actually is, and with only one stop in place it has made it tough for students to fully appreciate the system that is currently in place. With only one bus being used, its a struggle for students to catch a ride in a reasonable time period, considering there is only one stop made every twenty minutes.
As winter break gains near it will be interesting to see if Merrimack plans to make future improvements that will better the shuttle bus transportation system for the spring semester. Nonetheless, it has been great to see students getting a safe ride back and forth at no cost, because any free ride is better than walking, especially when facing the danger of crossing over among the busy 114 traffic.