Lack of bus route for students cause a problem

Some students at Florida A&M are concerned about a lack of bus transportation to the new FAMU Developmental Research School, the FAMU Police Department and the Campus Recreation Center. Many of those students rely on the FAMU Campus Venom Shuttle Service, founded by former student senator, Rep. Alan Williams. The service is currently comprised of three bus routes, all of which are operated through a partnership with Star Metro. The Venom Express 1 currently circles around FAMU landmarks including the Student Services Center, Bragg Stadium, the School of Business and Industry, the Palmettos and The Set every 20 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. The Venom Express 2, also known as the Adams Street route, runs to the Palmettos and The Set before making a right on Adams Street and continuing off campus from 8:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. then from 2:40 p.m. to 10:40 p.m. The Engineering Shuttle runs between FAMU and Florida State every 30 minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Fridays. The FAMU Shuttle Service has become a valuable resource for many over the past few years, but some students such as Antonio Olliso, 18, a first-year engineering student from Ocala wish the routes included additional stops at the Campus Recreational Center. “I think they should expand it to the rec center especially, because I like to work out, and I hate having to make a long walk back to my room when I’m already tired from going to the gym,” Olliso said. As Olliso’s case shows, transportation to these locations can be especially problematic for first-year students, who are not allowed to have cars on campus. Some students are not as sympathetic in changing the route if that means longer wait times. Megan Smith, 19, a third-year biology student from Chicago acknowledges this concern, but feels slightly different about changing the route. “[The expansion] would make it easier for freshman to get around to those locations,” Smith said. “But I’m concerned that the buses would take even longer than usual to get to the stops.” Alicia Alexander, 19, a second-year pharmacy student from Ft. Lauderdale echoes Smith’s sentiment. “I think it would be a bad change because the buses don’t come on time anyway and the extra stops would make the route longer… but it’s not really worth the extra time delay,” Alexander said. Along with those who are divided over the issue, students such as Sydney Luper, 19, a first-year business administration student from Dallas remain neutral. “It doesn’t really matter to me,” Luper said. “I don’t have to go to those places.” For those like Olliso who have expressed concern, executive director of Transit Planning for the Star Metro system, Ryan Waterman, said: “The only way we could effect change is through our contract. We’re more than happy to make a change if more resources come our way.” For now, those concerned with this issue will have to consider alternative solutions to transportation problems.