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Students ride free on the new Scot Shuttle

January 21, 2011

Monmouth College recently teamed up with Warren County Public Transportation to offer a new service to students, which is called the Scot Shuttle. The service is meant to provide a free and safe opportunity for students to travel to Monmouth’s various businesses. Students merely need to bring their student ID.

The shuttle will operate every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and run in 20 minute loops. Some of the stops in Monmouth include County Market, ShopKo, Petey’s and Walgreens.

In addition, the shuttle also leaves for Galesburg on Sundays at 3 p.m. and returns by 6 p.m. The stops in Galesburg include Applebee’s, Lowe’s and Walmart.

According to Don Gladfelter, Vice President for Finance and Business, the idea for the Scot Shuttle resulted from asking the Warren Achievement Center if they would be interested in creating a safe ride program for students returning from the bar. While Warren Achievement was not interested in the safe ride program, Gladfelter said they began talking about other services the students would use and the idea for a shuttle service was raised.

“I see students almost every night walking towards County Market and ShopKo on 6th Street,” said Gladfelter. “There are no sidewalks on that street, so they are usually walking in the street or in the snow. It always worries me when kids are walking in that street after dark.”

Don Gladfelter also hopes the Scot Shuttle will encourage future students to leave vehicles at home, which would free parking space.

“It seemed like a win-win thing to do and it wasn’t all that expensive,” said Goldfelter. “We’re doing it this semester as an experiment and we will how it turns out.”

The Scot Shuttle is also meant to be beneficial for the Warren Achievement Center. According to Derek Huff, student body student affairs representative, the Warren Achievement Center, which offers transportation services to the public, is hoping the Scot Shuttle will help get their name out and allow them to expand.

“I really hope people use it because it’s a really nice service that I think people will appreciate and it would be a shame if it was under used because no one knew about it,” said Huff.

According to Gladfelter, the shuttle first started on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and had no passengers. However, he also said there was a total of 18 students by Thursday, Jan. 13.

Gladfelter said he asked the Warren Achievement Center to keep track of where students were stopping, if possible, so the school could determine whether the schedule should be changed in the future.

Gladfelter also said he encourages students to attend future Associated Students for Monmouth College (ASMC) to give feedback.

Even though this is still an experiment, Gladfelter hopes the Scot Shuttle will soon take off.

“I would love to get to a point where we’re able to have something running a singificant portion of the day,” said Gladfelter.

However, Gladfelter also stress the difficulty in expanding the shuttle operating hours.

“The big expense in doing the shuttle service is not the vehicle, but the drivers. If you start adding hours, the cost starts to add up in a hurry. And we don’t want to pay for a service that operates half the day and not have enough people use it.”

To see the full shuttle, go to http://www.monm.edu/life/student-center/transportation.aspx.

BY DEREK KEIST
Features Editor

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