Students Say Entertainment Shuttle is too Slow


Daniella Amendola, Reporter

The campus entertainment shuttle, which provides students with transportation to and from Wilkes-Barre, is not meeting some students’ expectations.

“I’ve taken the shuttle once and it was a horrible experience, so I’ve never taken it again,” said Monica Milbut, first year psychology student.

Milbut had taken the entertainment shuttle to Walmart, and she had no issues with the first leg of the trip. “But it took about an hour and 15 minutes for the shuttle to come back for us even though we called.”

Milbut said she rode the shuttle during orientation, which is an especially busy time, she said.

“I didn’t like that it took them so long to respond even though we called them a few times,” said Milbut.

Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities, said many students use the service. “We average on a Friday or Saturday night 35 to 45 students that we take out and bring back,” she said.  “For those 45 students, it’s a great thing.”

Milbut said she probably would not take the entertainment shuttle again unless she had to.

Sophomore occupational therapy majors Carolyn Maguire and Annette Ritzko, said they rode the shuttle with others to the Barnes and Noble bookstore when one member of her group summoned the return ride.

Seating was tight, but fortunately there was just enough space, they said.

“We get into the shuttle and there’s another group there, but it’s only like four people so there’s enough room, and we’re like, ‘Okay this is fine,'” Ritzko said.  “So then he drives, and we’re like, ‘Okay we’re going!’ Or at least I was like, ‘Okay we’re going!’ And then he stops by the Buffalo Wild Wings and there’s a group of five people, and we were comfortable and had our own personal space until this group piles in. There were just enough seats to fit us.”

Ritzko said she avoids the shuttle when she can.

“It’s kind of an inconvenience because every time I use the shuttle—that is for recreational purposes—they never show up on time.”

She recalled an earlier experience when she summoned the shuttle for 6 p.m.

“I did it early to make sure they’d get there for six, which was when they were supposed to be there, but they didn’t show up until seven, which was really late and not fun at all,”she said.

Brodmerkel said the entertainment shuttle provides greater service than it did in the past, and she said the schedule is responsive to students’ wishes.  For example, she said Tuesday night service was once unpopular. “I’d taken Tuesday off the schedule for quite some time, and the students wanted it back, so I put it back in,” Brodmerkel said.

She added that there was once only one shuttle, and students would face long wait times because a one-way trip from Dallas to Wilkes-Barre takes about 25 minutes.

“So I have the two shuttles now that I run, and ideally one is up here picking up a group of students, and the other is dropping one off. So there is always movement going on between the two shuttles,” Brodmerkel said.

She said wait times now depend upon the number of people using the service.

“Sometimes the students complain that they have to wait too long, but that might be on a busy night. Sometimes depending on where they’re going, or what the traffic might be like, can make it for a little bit of a slower run,” she said.

Brodmerkel said the drivers are well trained and do the job reliably.

“The drivers know that under no circumstances are they to be breaking any driving laws like speeding around just to satisfy the students, but they work really hard to try to make the students happy and get them to where they need to go.”

Brodmerkel said students must demonstrate a high demand for the entertainment shuttle service before it could be expanded.