ID checking not required for University’s shuttle service
Anisa Jibrell – News Writer
The university’s shuttle services currently do not implement an ID-checking policy, and haven’t for quite some time according to Gregory Tower, General Manager of First Transit, the contractor company in charge of running Southern and Yale’s shuttle services.
“For one, it’s cumbersome to the rider, and two for safety reasons,” said Tower. “If someone forgets their ID in an urban environment such as New Haven, they are left to walk and various things could happen. Whether if they get mugged or robbed, or anything like that. ”
First Transit manages roughly 28 university contracts across the country, according to Tower.
“There is no ID policy, there was at one point but right now there isn’t,” said Tower.
Though, despite a non-existent ID policy, junior Smana Seradieu, who takes the off-campus shuttle regularly, says drivers will check IDs depending on the situation.
“It’s not like you have to show your ID every time you get on,” said Seradieu. “It’s only if you don’t look familiar. He’ll either check your ID or ask you a question about campus to make sure you’re a Southern student.”
Senior Jonathan Antrum said he took the shuttle to the mall once during his freshman year but the experience returning to campus was a bit frustrating.
“They did check IDs but there were a lot of people waiting for the last shuttle,” said Antrum. “Let’s say they only had room for 18, there would be 24-30 people waiting for the shuttle. People would get left and have to take the city bus.”
Tower said shuttles services do have an ID policy because for the most part everyone who rides the shuttle is affiliated with Southern somehow.
“If we want to ID we should ID everybody, if we don’t want to ID we shouldn’t ID anyone,” said Tower. “Whether if it’s a student, maybe your parents come to visit and they’re taking the train, faculty, staff. It could be a variety of people using Southern’s shuttle.”
“That would be profiling and we certainly wouldn’t want to do that,” said Tower.
The university website states that during a regular semester, the Union Station shuttle runs from Monday to Thursday, 7:15 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., providing service to each spot every 30 minutes.
The weekend shuttle which provides transportation to Hamden Plaza, Union Station, and Milford mall operates 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., with departures from the campus on the hour, according to the university website.
For students looking to utilize the on-campus shuttle, the wintergreen express shuttle provides service to each spot every 10 minutes, whereas the full-campus shuttle provides service to each spot every 20 minutes, according to the university website. There are 10 enclosed bus stops currently located on campus, and on-campus shuttles do not operate over the weekend.
“The downtown and wintergreen shuttles are good, I hate full campus though because there’s only one,” said Seradieu. “Especially when it’s cold out it sucks. They take forever to show up and when you stand inside the building because it’s cold they drive by quickly. Not giving people standing inside the building a chance to run outside.”
For students who use the shuttle during the colder months and wish to avoid this issue, Tower suggests taking advantage of Southern’s app which displays a map of campus and shows where a specific shuttle is at any given time.
Any student who need to use shuttle after 11 p.m. is advised to call campus police, according to the university’s website.
Photo Credit: Staff Photo