The Challenges, Opportunities of Operating University Campus Shuttle Services


By Russ Tieskoetter, Metro Magazine, Aug 9, 2019

“The typical school has dozens of buildings, numerous off-campus student housing options, and tens of thousands of people moving on and off campus, and between stops throughout. That is why many institutions offer bus and shuttle services to provide transportation for students and staff, and they face the same challenges of providing consistently high rider satisfaction levels that municipal transit authorities and operators do. This presents opportunities to experiment with adding new technologies and services to improve customer service and increase ridership.

A study conducted at the University of North Dakota asked college students what factors influenced their decision to ride the campus shuttle. The top reason is convenience. Other reasons included: time, accessibility, and parking availability.  

But whether students realize it or not, the most important service campus shuttles provide is safety. They are a convenient and reliable way for students to get around campus at night, particularly if they are alone. Shuttles can help with another safety hazard faced by college students — bad backs. A study by a University of Indiana professor found that the average graduate student carries a backpack weighing just over 12 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to bear when you are hurrying across miles of campus.”