The busses and shuttles are an integral part of UWG’s campus. However, the university has more than the red, blue and grey route buses. One such bus, the Newnan shuttle, is possibly one even commuter students have never heard of. However, due to that lack of use, it is nowhere near as practical as it intended.
The shuttles were added to UWG as a way for students to get around the campus. In 2003 the Apartment Shuttle was added not only for student’s convenience, but also to reduce the number of cars on campus and therefore the number of parking violations. Commuter students from Newnan are one of the largest contributors to cars on campus. In 2014 the Newnan Shuttle was added as well.
The Newnan shuttle transports students to UWG’s main campus to the Newnan Campus, and runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This makes it one of earliest shuttles to stop running for the day. However, this also renders it useless for students who take classes after that time.
“I’m able to take it in the morning,” said Rachel Clifton, a nursing student taking classes mainly at the Newnan Campus. “But my last class goes until 4:45 p.m., so I have to drive to Carrollton instead, which takes gas and extra time to find parking.”
Many students are in the same situation as Clifton, which might have led to the shuttle not being used. While it is true that the shuttle might see so few riders because of its early end time, it is still seeing negligible use overall.
“In the eight hour period it runs we only have about sixteen passengers per day on the Newnan Shuttle,” said Wade Crenshaw, the manager for Parking and Transportation at UWG. “Everything we do in regards to transportation is paid for by the entire student body, and we have to be good stewards of the resources we have. The Newnan shuttle is the most expensive shuttle we run and has the fewest riders, which is why the hours are in place.”
Though UWG’s Parking and Transportation Services Department is always looking for ways to improve the shuttles. It of course requires that there are enough students to justify having the bus. As of right now, the Newnan Shuttle is the smallest shuttle at UWG. Its hours have been changed in the past, such as during the renovation of the Biology building when all biology classes were temporarily moved to Newnan, but no changes to its current hours of operations are in the works.
“The apartment shuttle has always been our most used shuttle, last year we had just over 65-thousand people ride,” said Crenshaw. “The shopper shuttle is done solely for the benefit of our students and averages just about two-thousand riders per year. Should the ridership of the Newnan shuttle increase significantly beyond the hours of its current schedule we are always happy to look at expanding the hours of operation.”