“As Bradley’s campus expands, so does the average distance students have to walk,” Student Activities Graduate Assistant Kyle Malinowski said. “This growing distance poses as a greater threat to safety.”
Malinowski is in charge of coordinating the university-provided shuttle service, or as he calls it the Braves Bus, to Late Night BU for students who reside in Main Street Commons and the St. James Apartment Complex.
Although it has been available for the past two events to all students living in the St. James Complex or in Main Street Commons, Malinowski said only 31 students took advantage of the Braves Bus during the last LNBU.
“I think there is a lot of room for growth,” Malinowski said. “I’d like it to become a system utilized by students as a safe mode of transportation.”
Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky said although the number seems low, it was the first event they kept track of the number of students who took the shuttle. The number of students who reside at Main Street Commons and St. James who attend the event without taking the shuttle is unknown; therefore there is no basis to compare to.
“The fact that people are using it is a good initial response,” he said. “I’m not sure if it has been publicized as well as it should be, but it’s a good start.”
Senior sociology major Brett Williams has been volunteering as the only shuttle driver. He said there were some changes he would like to see made to the service.
“It’s a good idea but a lot of improvement could be made,” he said. “There hasn’t been much advertising.”
Williams suggested there be something on the van, like a magnet to identify it as the shuttle as well as having a sign outside Markin so students know where the van will be for pick-ups.
Malinowski said he is working to further advertise the service as well as see what future options this service can provide, such as keeping the shuttle on a route system, making stops at off-campus residences, dorms and Fredonia Avenue.
“This initiative should be considered closer and examined against models of other universities,” he said.
Williams said he agreed that the service should not be limited to only two pick-up locations.
“If they’re going to [provide this service] it should be a larger range and not only that route,” he said. “If there are people that need to get somewhere, we might as well make sure they get there safe.”
The shuttle runs every half hour for students coming and going from the event free of charge for students. Galsky said he initially proposed the idea in an effort to provide a safe alternative to the walk.
“Safety was our main concern,” he said. “Main Street Commons has a lot of freshman and sophomores, and we knew students would feel better and safer if they took the shuttle one way, if not both ways to Late Night BU.”
In addition to safety, Galsky said there were other concerns about the distance from residences outside of the campus limits to Markin.
“It’s also getting colder and it may be too cold for students to make the walk,” he said. “With all of the construction on campus, you can’t take the shortest route.”
If you are interested in volunteering as a Braves Bus driver, please contact Kyle Malinowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.