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Shuttles as new escorts for faculty, students

By Sara Harrison
On January 19, 2012

  • Before moving to New York City for an unpaid internship, Zachary Losher worked at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s radio station, WTK. photo courtesy of zachary losher

University of Memphis students can expect to catch a ride on a shuttle bus as early as the end of this semester.

The idea was developed to ensure student safety, according to Assistant Vice President of Business Services Edwina Washington.

"We are finalizing the specific type of bus to be used, but we anticipate they will be vehicles that will support 26 passengers and two wheelchairs," she said. "It will not be a school bus."

Other details about the shuttle such as its name, hours and routes are in the planning stages. It will be available to students, faculty, staff and visitors free of charge.  

Though the number of buses depends on the number of routes and wait times, five buses with one spare are currently planned.

Shuttle buses are most commonly used to shuttle people to and from hotels, airports and tourist attractions. More recently, colleges have used them to provide a safe and a more efficient means of transportation.

"I have night classes, and I do not feel safe walking to and from class. My dad bought me pepper spray, but I should not have to worry about getting jumped walking to class," said Caroline Berry, a junior hospitality major. "I think I will feel a lot safer on campus if I have a safe way of getting around."

Bruce Harber, director of police services, said the shuttle bus would increase campus security efforts.

 "The shuttle should make our campus even more secure by providing transportation around the perimeter of campus, especially at night, allowing the Tiger Escort Program to focus more on interior escorts on our campus," Harber said.


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