Still disappointed in La Salle’s public safety communication


Meghan Cain, Staff

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.

Lack of communication takes the safety out of public safety


Meghan Cain, Staff

My friends and I went downtown for restaurant week recently and decided to make a night of it, walking around the city, browsing stores and taking in the night life rather than just eating dinner and coming straight back to campus. We checked the La Salle app to see when the shuttle would be coming and the app said the shuttle comes to the Septa stop each hour at :15 :55 and :35, and that on Fridays and Saturdays it runs until 3:00 am. We were under the impression that it didn’t matter how late we got back, knowing that we could take a shuttle back to our townhouse, so we took our time and enjoyed the night rather than trying to rush back to make sure we got home safe. 

We got to the stop at 8:50 and waited the five minutes for the shuttle to get there. La Salle took the shuttle tracker service off of the app, which we were disappointed to see, as we couldn’t tell if the shuttle was running on time or late and we didn’t want to be standing around in the dark waiting for it, especially not knowing how long it would take. A shuttle came at around 9:00 and unloaded a van full of students, then we got on. The driver told us we were lucky that that group had asked to be taken to the Septa stop, or else we would have been waiting for a long time before needing to just walk back in the dark. He informed us that La Salle had changed the shuttle hours and the shuttle now only runs until 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but that it actually stops at the 8:15 p.m. cycle so that it can be finished its trip on time to get gas and make it back before 9:00 p.m. We told him that La Salle didn’t have that posted on the shuttle service page, and that we weren’t informed that the schedule changed. If this information was posted anywhere, it wasn’t made known. The driver informed us that communication hasn’t been clear between La Salle and public safety either, and that he wasn’t informed right away when the schedule had changed. He seemed disappointed in La Salle’s lack of communication.

I find this to be irresponsible on La Salle’s behalf, knowing that weekends are when students plan on staying out later, and that it is dangerous for them to be standing around waiting for the shuttle in our neighborhoods, which are  often receiving reports of violence. I am disappointed in La Salle for the lack of communication about important information such as this, and for the lack of care given to its students that are relying on the shuttle system for safety. We pay a lot of money to attend this school, so I think that at the very least we deserve proper communication.