Spectorial (Feb. 02, 2012)

Story by The Spectator Staff

Last week, The Spectator ran an article about Right Way Shuttle, a private bus company running a Saturday night shuttle service starting this spring. This has a few implications as Student Senate voted 17-9 to get rid of the Saturday Night Shuttle program sponsored by the Center for Alcohol Studies and Education through the university, effective this semester.Right Way Shuttle is known for it’s door-to-door taxi/shuttle service from around the city in its trademark blue buses more colloquially known as “drunk buses.”On the company’s website, the service is described as such: “Shuttle offers a shared ride service in Eau Claire and Altoona, you can be safe and drink responsibly. We provide door to door service from any location within the city. Best of all enjoy our party lights, dance pole and the best party music around.”

Where CASE’s program was designed to provide safe transport around the city to students who haven’t been drinking, Right Way’s service has been known to cater to people that have and need a ride home.

The editorial board found it unfortunate that CASE’s program had been cut in the first place.  In the article, Towers North Hall Director Kerry Day said many Towers residents found the program to be useful, so if students were using it, the board would like to know why it was cut.

After all, this seems to be a fairly lucrative business opportunity for Right Way.  And the way Right Way is treating the situation is as if they’re doing the students a big service, but behind the idea is clearly an opportunity to make money. If they truly wanted to step up and do the students a much needed service, they would do it for free and that’s just not the case.

Students used to be able to freely use CASE’s program for getting to work and activities off campus. RAs could also use the service for off campus wing events. Bearing this in mind, it’s not likely these things can even potentially take place because students aren’t going to want to take the “drunk bus” to work or to an off campus event with their wingmates. It’s not likely.

The editorial board believes that there’s no separating a shuttle from the drunk bus, but there’s a bigger issue afoot here. There is no viable public transportation option for students on campus after the city transits stop running to campus. Especially considering that parking on campus is becoming more and more of a fiasco, it’s imperative that there’s a decent option for students to get off campus.

On the whole, it’s a shame that the university dropped the program, especially because it was free. And putting students’ safety and well-being should be more of a priority.