Rant of the Week: Moravian Shuttle Leaves Students Stranded


Photo courtesy of DailyHive

I recently moved to Moravian’s South Campus and suddenly realized how much South Campus residents utilize the shuttle service compared to North residents. 

I woke up every day at the same time for a month, getting bundled up for the cold morning weather and usually taking the first shuttle after 9 a.m., so I still had a chance to be on time to class and catch another shuttle if I missed the first one. This seemed to work flawlessly for the first month, with only minor issues along the way. However, later in the semester, I noticed that the shuttles became less consistent, and sometimes, only one would be running during the day shift. 

One morning, I pulled out my phone and checked the MoCoGo App as usual, but I saw the map was empty for the first time ever. The app appeared as if no shuttles were running, despite an average of three shuttles running during the morning shift. I was curious to know whether the app was malfunctioning campus-wide, whether my app was just peculiar, or if there were simply no shuttles for whatever reason. 

There is no phone number, email, or contact information for students to leave complaints or comments about the shuttle service or even to call and ask questions during moments like this. So, I waited for a shuttle, and when none came, I missed my first class. 

The next time I was disappointed by the shuttle was very similar. The app had been malfunctioning for almost a week, with every student telling me their app did not show any shuttles running. I did my usual routine and waited for a shuttle at the same time, but only a van showed up, and it filled up so quickly that I was left stranded at the HILL. I did not have enough time to wait for the next shuttle, which would take 20 minutes since there was only one shuttle running; with a 20-minute walk to North campus, I would have been late for class no matter what. 

The reason I was actually able to start writing this article was because a shuttle left me stranded. I ran to catch a shuttle, and as soon as I reached the doors, it began to pull away with no warning, despite my trying to chase and wave it down. I figured I would wait for the next one, but I was wrong. By the time the next shuttle had arrived, and I tried to get on, the driver informed me that they were going to take their break and to wait for the next driver. 

I waited for over thirty minutes in the cold just to discover the shuttle I was planning on taking had gone on break, with no warning from the MoCoGo app. Keep in mind that I was waiting at the shuttle stop for minutes before the shuttle was expected to arrive, but due to a poorly designed app, I was not informed of when drivers would be ending their shifts or taking their breaks. 

Moravian University needs to find a way to upgrade the MoCoGo app. Shuttle drivers should be able to control when they are online or not, and it should be clear if a driver will be taking a break soon, so students are not left waiting in the cold for a shuttle that will not be able to drive them. A nonfunctional shuttle system is unfair to students who spend way too much time waiting for the shuttle when they have classes, jobs, and clubs to attend. 

South Campus residents and commuters rely on the shuttle, especially in poor weather, not even including those with accommodations or disabilities.  I’ve heard multiple students complain of missing classes or events due to unexpected shuttle disruptions. 

When situations like this occur, it leaves students with almost no options. I am a freshman, so obviously, I cannot drive to North campus, and by the time I realize the lack of a shuttle situation, it is often too late to walk. 

Even if I did have time to walk, I shouldn’t have to. Moravian students deserve reliable and reasonable access to the shuttles, especially students with accommodations and disabilities. 

The hill by lot X on Mauch Chunk Road is so intense that my Apple Maps app notifies me of an extremely steep incline, alerting me that I need to be careful. I could not imagine treading this hill multiple times every single day, especially in poor weather, when the sidewalk may be slick with rain or ice. When the shuttle does stop at Lot X, it is often so packed that many commuters stand on the shuttle, have to wait for the next one or just choose to walk. 

These situations are almost always no fault of the shuttle drivers—they cannot be blamed. Most drivers I interact with daily are kind and sociable and will go out of their way to make a student’s day better. A small shoutout to the shuttle drivers: they’re doing their best with their resources.

South campus residents almost feel like second-class students at this point, and many commuter students feel entirely forgotten, with rare shuttle stops at Lot X. The students of Moravian University deserve a dependable shuttle system, especially as the weather gets colder.