OPINION: WSU students need more transportation on campus

Bikes, buses or rideshares, WSU kids need new ways to get around on campus

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ANNIKA ZEIGLER

Transportation on campus is far from perfect — here's how we can improve it.

PORTIA SIMMONS, Evergreen columnist

When I first arrived at WSU, one of the first things students mentioned about the campus was the number of hills.

When I asked students about forms of transportation on campus, students said they wished that more forms, such as Coug Bikes, were more available. I wanted to know how to improve transportation on campus, so I decided to send out a survey to both students and faculty.

Survey participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with transportation options provided at WSU. Out of the 20 people who responded, there was an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. Twenty-five percent of students said they had to buy some form of transportation due to a lack of it on campus.

Participants were asked which kinds of transportation students would prefer, such as Jump bikes, Lime or Bird scooters, as well as a driving service. Twenty-five percent of participants said they wish there were Jump bikes, 75 percent said they wish Lime or Bird scooters were available, and 40 percent said they wish there was some form of driving service available on campus.

When asked about other possible options for transportation on campus, participants suggested having more Uber drivers, more buses in the winter, as well as having more rideshare options. Participants were asked why they believed these forms of transportation would be beneficial for students on campus.

Some of the responses indicated that having more options would help students if they feel unsafe, if they are running late to class and if it gets dark outside. Additionally, participants were in favor of a quick and easy way to get around campus, fewer cars on campus and a possibility to create more jobs on campus (when mentioning a driving service).

Students are seeking more forms of transportation and for several good reasons. According to the survey, participants gave 4.5 stars out of 5 when asked if they were excited to see these forms of transportation on campus.

“I would be super excited to see these [forms of transportation mentioned] on campus because not only would it make trekking the distance a little easier, it wouldn’t impact the environment as much as other options,” said Mina Trautner, sophomore nursing major. “I think it would do no harm to look into more options of transportation on campus.”

Heather Nygaard, junior wildlife ecology and conservation sciences major, said this topic was extremely important to her.

“For me — as a disabled person — it can be very hard to walk across campus, especially in a hilly area, and I’m really worried about what it’s going to be like in the winter too,” Nygaard said. “I think it would be more beneficial for people who need more accommodations when it comes to transportation and don’t have as many options.”

Nygaard said the lack of transportation affected her planning for this semester.

“When I was setting up my class schedule, I knew that I would struggle walking such distances in just 10 minutes, so I actually set up my class schedule so that I had at least half an hour between classes,” Nygaard said.

The lack of transportation on campus impacts students more than we think. This survey proved there is a need for better transportation on campus and that students would be excited to see more options on campus.