Opinion: Risking death and unemployment on the Ram Tram
By Phil McMullin
According to www.CDC.gov, 33,783 people died in car accidents in the United States during the year 2011. This fact crossed my mind as my head smashed into the air conditioning system I was hunched under while riding the shuttle to work. The girl in front of me flew backwards, falling victim to the inevitable physics of a bus that has been packed with more bodies than it can handle. The force of her momentum knocked me backwards into the Emergency Door I had become gradually pressed against as I clung to a wheel-chair ramp for dear life.
The mere danger of the shuttle might be tolerable if it were a remotely reliable method of
transportation. However, nearly every day, the shuttle will reach capacity and leave students stranded.
Such was the case last week, when I was running late for work. Given that the shuttle’s “maximum capacity” is so generous that it puts students in clear danger, I was not initially upset that I had to wait for the next one. My anger came when I was forced to wait alongside ten other students in front of an empty shuttle whose driver had the engine running, waiting for students who might need to go to the parking lot at noon on a Sunday. After fiffteen minutes of waiting, one student sleepily stepped on and the driver took off, leaving the rest of us in the dust, still late for work.
The most frustrating part of the abject failure of the shuttle system is the fact that it is flaunted as a huge convenience during tours of the campus. A large part of the reason I came to FSU (carless) was because I was told I would have safe, reliable transportation to and from work. If the university is going to leave an institution in place that clearly is unsafe and frequently makes people late, the least they could do is not brag about it. To anyone who knows a prospective student considering attending FSU, I encourage you to warn them of the shuttle system, at least until appropriate changes are made.