Slow Start for New Shuttle Buses

Jae Yoo

“Parking,” “campus parking,” “lack of campus parking.” It is the most frequent response students give when asked about the biggest problem at Glendale Community College.

However, when the college tried to improve the situation by launching a shuttle bus service from a new parking lot on Brand Boulevard at Monterey Road, only the bus drivers showed up. At the ground opening, not a single student claimed one of the 500 available spaces.

The next day was no different as the shuttles were left waiting for students. Some have blamed the poor turnout due to lack of publicity.

“I’m sure some still do not know of the services,” said William Taylor, manager of business operations at GCC. “But we have been sending fliers and the teachers have been announcing it.”

One of the benefits of the shuttle service is that students do not have to wait for parking spaces, and only need to wait for the scheduled shuttles, according to Taylor.

Although the service is not the ideal solution to the parking problem, it does eliminate the uncertainty of the amount of time it will take to wait for parking spots, said Taylor.

Anyone with a GCC parking permit placard, which costs $45, may park and use the shuttles.

There are about 14,000 students on campus this semester, but the college has less than 3,000 parking spaces available on and around campus. Because of the high congestion, especially at the start of each semester, the shuttles may growing in

popularity.

Gradually, students are learning the advantage of taking the shuttle.

“I think that people who use it appreciate it,” said Nadal Kobaissi, a police specialist. “The numbers are steadily increasing each day.”

The attendance figures have been anywhere from 30 to 40 students in the past few days of service, according to Dennis Reeves, one of the drivers.

“It’s been picking up little by little,” said David Escobar, the second driver. “I see new faces every day.”

The program, which will run for six weeks, costs about $25,000. The purpose is to relieve the parking crisis only for the highest traffic periods at the beginning of each semester.

“If we get enough usage, yes, it will be worth the money we spend on it,” said Taylor. “We know it’s one solution to provide adequate parking for the students, as we are trying to find the master plan to solve the parking situation.”

The shuttle runs every half-hour Monday through Friday. The service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cul-de-sac on Burchett and Central behind the parking lot at 701 N. Brand Blvd. On campus, shuttles will pick up students at the pick-up loading zone in front of school from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information, call (818) 551-5205.