Despite Shortcomings, Parking Shuttle Will Return Next Fall

Michael J. Arvzu

The college shuttle service was designed to ease overcrowded parking on campus, but it has gotten off to a surprisingly slow start, with as few as six riders a day, according to the GCC police department.

As was the case several weeks ago, Bill Taylor, director of business services, attributes the problem to the small amount of advertising that the program received at the beginning of the semester. Due to contract restraints, the shuttle program had no choice but to begin service when so little of the student population even knew about the shuttles.

The shuttles are only scheduled to run during peak times of parking congestion, which is typically at the beginning of the semester. The service, which ended Wednesday, will start up again at the beginning of the Fall 2001 semester.

Costing up to $25,000 to run, the number of student passengers does not seem to justify this large amount of money that is spent to operate the program. However, according to Police Specialist Nidal Kobaissi, it is worth spending $25,000 if those six students can find parking and are able to get to class on time.

“Economically I don’t think this was a good idea,” said Taylor. “Showing that we recognize that we have a problem and that this may be a short-term solution, yes, it was worth doing.”

Kobaissi adds that the low number of riders can also be attributed to the fact that there are better parking conditions in the spring, as opposed to the fall semester when there is a bigger demand for parking spaces. The shuttle program will run again during the fall crunch hopefully bringing some relief.

According to Taylor, students who are looking for parking will most likely choose a parking space that is close to campus, making the alternate parking site a last resort. However any additional parking is always welcomed.

Before the program was implemented, other remote sites were first considered, including a parking lot that belongs to a church a few blocks from GCC and a CalTrans lot located where the Glendale Freeway (2) meets the Foothill Freeway (210) in La Ca┬žada.

“I think that in the fall, we’ll know if this program worked or not,” said Kobaissi.