Shuttle looking up

After months with few riders and minimal funding, the Right Way Shuttle now is gaining momentum from increased ridership of its new taxi-style service, owner Tom Klatt said.

“The convenience of picking people up at their house and being able to ride all night for $5 is working very well,” Klatt said.

The late-night bus service, which faced financial problems while running its original fixed route service to the Oakwood Mall and Water Street areas, requested $15,000 in funding from the university.

Klatt will not receive the funding at this time, said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of Student Development and Diversity.

The request came too late, and there was not enough time to go through the proper channels, she said.

“Our major concern is that we follow the procedures,” Thesing-Ritter said. “There might be conversations in the future, but not at this point.”

Since the taxi service began in early December, it has proved to be a valid alternative to the original fixed route plan. It costs $3 a student for a one-way ticket and $5 for access to rides all night.

Junior Shaun Marek said he rode the shuttle three times last semester for its convenience and price. “It’s pretty cheap,” he said. “I basically rode it because of the distance from the bars to Upper Campus.”

Being one of few late-night ride services, the holidays were profitable, Klatt said.

“We also had New Years Eve night,” he said. “It was a very large night for us. We provided rides for about 250 people.”

Besides the new taxi style, Klatt said they also offer a charter service that can be rented out to weddings or large groups. Both of these services are helping the funding issue, he said.

“We have seen a large improvement in riders,” he said. “And it is only going to get better.”

Marek said he hasn’t tried the new service yet, but said it sounds like a good deal.

“Calling a cab costs you around $7 to go from Upper Campus to the bars,” he said. “I think students will take advantage of the new service, and I will probably take it again.”