Shuttle Bus Cutbacks Create Problems for Collegiate Village Residents

By McKenzie Duncan

The reconstruction of Daemen University’s Duns Scotus, following the unfortunate storm of December 2022, resulted in budget cuts of Daemen facilities to afford reconstruction.

Budget cuts became noticeable for students who rely heavily on the Daemen Shuttle Bus, including Daemen Students at Collegiate Village. This apartment complex is a 10-minute drive from campus.

Robert Mead-Colegrove, assistant dean of Campus Safety and Operations said they analyzed the “longitudinal data from the shuttle usage and found that it was being underutilized for the cost we were paying to provide the service.” 

The data, however, doesn’t account for the influx of Daemen students at Collegiate Village, who have begun to utilize the shuttle services since the commencement of the Fall 2023 semester. 

From data provided by Leah Walsh, Director of Institutional Research, only 7 Daemen students lived in Collegiate Village this past Spring Semester of 2023. Yet, this Fall Semester there are now 94 Daemen students living in Collegiate Village. 

The data shows an 11.61% increase in the amount of Daemen students residing in Collegiate Village since last spring. 

Jada Dawson, a fourth-year, health promotion community health principles major, has been living at Collegiate Village for three years now. She says she relies heavily on the Daemen Shuttle bus service and said, “There is much room for improvement.”

Dawson said cutting back on funding and transportation services this semester was a “poor decision” and, “the full implications that it would have on all students were not taken into consideration.” 

Implications such as reduced access to grocery shopping, which students like Dawson, who has a medically restricted diet, require consistent access to grocery stores like Wegmans. 

Arturo Bustamante, a third-year sports management major and goalkeeper for the Daemen men’s soccer team, has also faced some difficulties with the new shuttle schedule. 

On days when the soccer team has early morning practices, Bustamante said, “The coaches pick up me and my other teammates that live at CV with me.” 

Bustamante has only been living at Collegiate Village for three months, and finds himself using Lyft very often, “especially on the weekends since there’s no shuttle service on the weekends.”

He said he got comfortable adjusting to the shuttle bus schedule but found it hard at first, “because your schedule and time relies on the bus schedule.”  

Unfortunately, budget cuts leave students with minimal transportation resources, especially on the weekends, causing them to spend excessive funds on transportation services like Uber and Lyft. 

Fortunately, at the beginning of this fall semester, Mead-Colegrove said, “Students who did not have vehicles living at CV were offered a one-time, $150 Lyft gift card to assist them with the transition.” 

Students like Dawson have mentioned starting a petition to increase the availability of the shuttle schedule to its previous services.

As students continue to advocate for themselves and their needs in situations they cannot control, Daemen is in a position to provide a listening ear. 

“We are aware there have been concerns brought up through the Student Government,” says Mead-Colegrove. He also says that the information has been provided to Student Activities and Student Affairs.

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