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UNF Spinnaker

Students catch new District shuttle

By: Sara Gossman, Contributing Writer


(Photo by Andrew Noble)

Chances are, you’ve seen the green shuttles with the fuzzy pink gorillas on the back driving around UNF.


These shuttles, operated by the District on Kernan, are a new mode of transportation for students living off campus at the District.


The District launched a shuttle service to help its residents travel to UNF and Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus without having to worry about gas or parking, said Brittni Dykes, Assistant General Manager of the District.


The shuttle runs from 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, making stops at both colleges and the District roughly every hour. Even though there is only one shuttle in operation, the system works efficiently and the riders are satisfied with the simple fact that there is a shuttle available to them.


“With parking already being crazy and with gas prices rising, I don’t have the means to drive my car to go to school a lot anymore,” said Scram Pompy, a UNF exercise science junior. “By riding the shuttle, I don’t have to wake up in the morning and worry about where I’m going to park, how late I will be if I can’t find a spot.”


The shuttle averages 161 riders a day, with passenger traffic peaking early in the morning and later at night. The number of riders is growing as more residents begin to turn from using their cars to riding the shuttle in order to get on campus, Dykes said.


While the shuttle service won’t eliminate the need for District residents to have cars, it has reduced the number of students using their cars to get to campus.


Jiovana Nazario, a UNF student and District resident, rides the shuttle twice a week. She said she drives the other two days because she has to take sculptures and sculpting materials to class.


“I would definitely ride it all the time if I could,” she said.


The shuttle service has become quite popular among residents despite the fact that the shuttles have only been running for about a month. The shuttle system was officially established Jan. 4, after residents suggested a shuttle service for the District last semester.


“We told our manager about what the community assistants and residents said they would like to see us do, and he really worked on it,” Dykes said.


She said the District has a one-year contract that is a test run to see how residents react.

“The students love it,” Dykes said. “We’ve had a lot of good feedback.”


And student feedback on the service, which is free to District residents, matches Dykes’ observations.


“It benefits me and the other residents because you don’t have to look for parking at UNF,” Nazario said.


James Dzikunu, another UNF student and District shuttle rider, agreed with the hype surrounding the District shuttle.


“It actually does help. The timing is good, and I know when the bus is going to arrive and when it’s going to leave,” Dzikunu said.


Email Sara Gossman at [email protected].


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