Last semester, I experienced issues with La Salle’s shuttle system and wrote an article expressing my concerns about the lack of proper communication regarding the shuttle hours. I had explained that my friends and I went downtown and had followed the shuttle service hours posted on La Salle’s page, which stated that the shuttle would be running until 3 a.m. Unbeknownst to us, the shuttle hours were changed, and they were no longer running at the time that we were hoping to get a ride. Had the updated hours been posted, and the shuttle tracking app wasn’t removed, we wouldn’t have been left waiting in the dark on the corner of an unsafe street for a shuttle that was not going to arrive.
Following the article, the updated hours were posted online and the shuttle tracker app was made available again, which I am happy about. However, not long after that, my friends and I had walked to the station, as it was still bright out, but were followed on our walk by an older man that we do not know. Luckily, a shuttle driver noticed and pulled over to pick us up. We were happy to have been given a ride, but were uncomfortable with the fact that we had been followed, so we have felt a bit unnerved at the idea of walking to and from the Septa station on our own since then.
On a recent Friday afternoon we wanted to go downtown, so we tracked the shuttle on the La Salle app to take us to the Septa station. We were waiting on campus when the app said the shuttle had arrived nearby, although it had not. We called public safety and asked to be picked up. When we got on the shuttle, we asked how late they would be running later that night to make sure that we could get back in time so that we would not have to walk home in the dark, just in case we got there later than the posted times. We were told that at any time during the day or night we could call 215-951-1300 and that a shuttle would be sent out to us.
When we got back to the Olney station later that night we used the shuttle tracking app, and, again, it said that the shuttle arrived at the station even though it had not. It was only 7 p.m. at that point, and the shuttle is supposed to run normally until 9 p.m., so we assumed there would be no issue getting a ride if we called the number we were given earlier.
We called and were told that unless we had a medical emergency, a shuttle could not be sent out to us. I explained that we were given that number earlier in the day and were told to call at any point for a ride and was again told that a shuttle would not be sent unless there was a medical emergency. We walked back in the dark in 20-degree weather, still uncomfortable about the fact that we had previously been followed and were in an unsafe neighborhood to be walking around in at night.
I have had no problems with the shuttle drivers themselves as they have consistently expressed how much they value La Salle students’ safety, but I am extremely disappointed in La Salle for their lack of communication and their irresponsibility. My primary purpose in writing this article is to make it known that there needs to be more consistency, communication and emphasis on student safety. La Salle may claim that student safety and well-being is a top priority, but they have continuously proved otherwise. There is consistently better communication regarding the beloved basketball team than about something as crucial as public safety — or anything else, for that matter.