Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography Intern

The transition between the spring and fall semesters of 2010 brought huge changes for the university’s department of transportation. Most notable of these is the two-fold increase in ridership on the Gold and Black shuttle lines. Ridership on those two lines topped 6,000 students last month.  These lines provide convenient rides to and from WFU campus and local apartment complexes. Students have enthusiastically jumped on board as they realized the financial savings on both gas and parking passes, as well as the extended hours offered by the shuttles.  This last factor had a huge impact on the increased ridership on the line.

Increased service to more apartment complexes also met the needs and wants expressed by students. GPS technology which allows riders to view the real-time locations of the shuttles has also been introduced this semester to add further convenience to the shuttle system.

The improved shuttle system is not the only successful transportation program that has been launched in the past year. Use of the Zipcar vehicles has increased steadily since its arrival on campus last spring. Since July, membership has tripled and continued growth at this rate will merit the addition of another vehicle to the fleet next spring. Other types of vehicles, such as a truck which could be utilized for moving purposes, are being considered for addition in the future.

An exciting transportation option that became available this semester is the on-campus solar shuttle.  The solar shuttle, which is a solar-electric hybrid vehicle, provides students a convenient means to travel to and from different locations on the Reynolda campus. The exact route has yet to be determined, and will be designed around input from a school-wide survey. If the existing shuttles’ popularity is any indication, the future is bright for the transportation department’s newest addition to the fleet of vehicles providing convenient, free transportation to university faculty, staff and students.

By Jackie Staiger, Marketing Intern