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Shuttles should aid in game day rides

[ 0 ] October 1, 2013 |
The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

For most college students, freshman year is their “make or break” year with a particular university. It decides whether they should stay at this new place they call home, start the transfer process to another university, or head home to work until their priorities are all together.

While West Texas A&M does a great job in enticing freshmen to come to Canyon with its fine facilities and pleasurable experience, there is a feeling that the game day experience is lacking. For the freshmen who have no means to catch a ride to Kimbrough Stadium or don’t necessarily care about walking to the First United Bank Center, they are indeed missing out on an important part of the college experience.

That is where the Buffalo Express, WT’s shuttle bus line, comes in.  Their primary focus is to give students a ride from the First United Bank Center parking lot to campus, due to the lack of on-campus parking on weekday mornings. The familiar maroon and white shuttles run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide a quick lift around campus.

The Buffalo Express could aid in the initial college experience by offering a lift to those who lack the means to enjoy Buffalo football and basketball games and tailgating activities. However, it does take time and resources to assemble the shuttle buses together and pay the personnel who drive the buses to and from WT’s respective venues.

It’s a topic that has been brought up by the Student Senate and was discussed at length. However, it’s proving to move along too slowly. WT could end up losing momentum that it has recently gained with the largest enrollment the university has ever tallied, if this important issue cannot be resolved and resolved soon.

If Student Senate, The Prairie itself, or any other organization sent out a survey asking for  information about the prospect of a potential shuttle to and from Kimbrough, it would be a welcomed commodity for WT’s students, supporters, and staff.

In a nutshell, instead of having to deal with the small parking lots that surround Kimbrough, it would free up the lots around the stadium for tailgating activities and ease the burden of traffic around the venue. Even those who do have the transportation wouldn’t have to deal with the never-ending traffic issue of getting to and from Kimbrough. This way, they can park on campus and hitch the ride with the Buffalo Express.

So what does that sort of opportunity cost? Yes, there is the rising price of gasoline and the extra hours that the drivers must set aside from their weekends to make this possible. But it pales in comparison to the value that this idea can provide for everyone.

Sure, there is a cost to undertaking such a task. There will always be a risk with any venture, but it is a challenge that is doable and can be done swiftly for the greater good of our student populace, staff, and supporters.

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