WSU, U of I shuttle in trial period

Shuttle will run until Dec. 13, transport to airport during break



Robert Mitchell, information specialist of U of I Parking and Transportaion Services, explains how the shuttle system works and why their work is important to students Tursday afternoon at Troy Lane bus stop. The service will benefit students that take classes at both campuses.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen editor-in-chief

WSU students who take classes at the University of Idaho can travel to the neighboring campus by using an intercampus shuttle for a limited time up until Dec. 13.

The shuttle, also known as the Joe Bus, is a trial run and provides an alternative transportation option for students taking courses at both universities, said Rebecca Couch, director of the University of Idaho Parking and Transportation Services.

At WSU, the 22-seater shuttle stops in front of Hulbert Hall, as well as the Stadium Way at Troy Lane bus stop, according to the UI/WSU Intercampus Shuttle Trial timetable. The shuttle also stops at: Moscow International Transit Center bus stop, Living Learning Communities residence hall, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport and Wallace Residence Center.

UI Parking and Transportation Services determined the location of the stops based on UI students and the central points of their classes, said Robert Mitchell, information specialist of UI Parking and Transportation Services.

“WSU is a huge campus,” Mitchell said. “In order to have a timely and efficient operation, we try to be strategic about where the stops were.”

Couch said the shuttle stops at all locations four times each weekday. The shuttle is also wheelchair accessible and has a bike rack in the front.

The purpose of the shuttle was to serve UI students enrolled in classes at WSU, she said, but they decided to offer the opportunity to WSU students as well. Students who have a Cougar or Vandal card ride free.

UI Parking and Transportation Services took a survey of UI students who are taking classes at WSU and asked the time their classes would start, Couch said. The schedule of the shuttle is aligned with the class times the students provided.

Couch said Wednesday was the third day the shuttle operated and so far, one student from each campus used the shuttle.

Mitchell said UI students and faculty can use the shuttle on-campus to the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport between Dec. 16-20.

Students and faculty can also ride the shuttle from the airport between Jan. 11-14, according to the Finals to Flights timetable. Riders must fill out a form online to reserve a seat.

“It’s not like [the airport] is across the state or anything, but it’s still far enough away that it’s a logistical challenge,” he said. “Usually you end up having to drop some money to get you and your luggage there.”

The shuttle trial run will operate until the end of finals week so WSU students could also use the shuttle to get to the airport.

Couch said they plan on doing a second trial run next semester to assess better ridership results.

“We did realize that this was a bit of a tricky time period with it being the end of the semester,” she said.

The shuttle is funded by UI Parking and Transportation Services, Couch said, which is a self-supporting unit funded by permits, citations and meter revenue. She said the service ultimately cannot be funded by one single entity.

“We would really like people […] to put their butt in our Joe Bus seat and show how excited they are about this trial and the possibility of a more permanent solution,” Mitchell said.