Biggest buzzkill: Closing Rollins to shuttles
May. 06, 2015
Public transportation — well, there’s a thing of nightmares. Especially COMO Connect, the city-owned public bus system that pushed private apartment complex shuttles out of the MU Student Center stops.
With pressure on students to take city buses, congestion on campus streets might have decreased, but, with fewer transportation options, congestion within the city buses left many students standing, seatless and squished.
What is worse than waking up in the morning and taking a shuttle to your way-too-early 11 a.m. class, you might ask? Waking up in the morning and boarding a city bus filled with randos, City Council answered, presumably with a smirk. What an idea.
MU students who signed leases in a number of off-campus housing complexes were contractually promised usage of free private housing shuttles. These shuttles, catering specifically to MU, its students and their schedules, run at more favorable times than COMO Connect, which serves the public as a whole. Again, what is worse than waking up for your 11 a.m. class and catching a private shuttle that runs every 15 minutes or so? Waking up at 9:20 a.m. to catch a 10:20 a.m. city bus to campus that doesn’t run again until 10:55 a.m., which if you took, would definitely make you late but sometimes it’s worth it just so you don’t have to be waiting on campus for an extra forty minutes for a class you don’t want to be in anyway, City Council answered, presumably while twisting their one, collective handlebar mustache of government.
This transportation switch-up came after City Ordinance 14-180 was put into effect this fall, prohibiting nearly all private vehicles from using sections of Rollins Street, Hitt Street, Ninth Street, Conley Avenue and Missouri Avenue from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on weekdays. With Rollins Street being city-owned, the prohibition of private vehicle presence outside of the Student Center was a decision to be made by the city. Alternate routes for private shuttles were created at locations like Strickland Hall and Memorial Union, but only after this legislation was strictly enforced with no notification or collaborative notice given to MU and its students.
To the credit of City Council as well as MU officials, a collaborative effort between the two was dedicated to quick, consolidated, efficient transport of students with emphasis on traffic safety, something that, with the number of campus traffic accidents that have taken place in the past few months alone is always an important measure to give consideration.
As students at MU we are lucky enough to have access to a unique city and a homey college town and it is important for us to remember that these things are merely additions to our beautiful campus. In the case of CoMo, it is sometimes best to simply go with the FlowMo.