Youngstown State University students have been offered a new alternative to the taxis they may take to go down the road to West Federal Plaza Downtown on a busy weekend night.
Last month, YSU Parking Services introduced the idea of a “University District Shuttle” going back and forth from downtown, the dorms and fraternity houses on the east side. The bus runs Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Danny O’Connell of YSU Parking Services said the shuttle has been a great success so far.
“It’s going to be really big,” O’Connell said. “We’ve had a lot of students go through so far and it’s just going to get bigger from here.”
O’Connell also said that they hope to use the University Shuttle during Homecoming Week.
“We hope to have a shuttle running after the homecoming bonfire,” he said. “After it’s over, we want to run it to and from Downtown so students can go down there and have fun after the bonfire.”
Driver of the University Shuttle, Robert Felder, said he enjoys driving the students around during the late nights of the weekend.
“I absolutely love it,” Felder said. “There is always a constant flow and there has been more and more kids coming through every weekend.”
Felder also said that he sometimes would even go out of the way on his route to help students get where they want to be.
“I’ll always pull over for everyone that flags me down,” he said. “We always have availability for them to hop on. We are always down there anyways.”
Felder said that despite the typical opinion, students are actually very respectful to him rather than rude.
“They are always very grateful during the rides and also when they get on and off,” he said. “It’s really great to know that it is really being appreciated.”
Besides the normal parking services shuttle, there is also a limo style bus equipped with leather seats and a plasma TV.
Senior engineering major, Dave Macek, has ridden the University District Shuttle a few times since it has been offered to YSU students.
“It’s good to see YSU getting involved in the rejuvenation of downtown,” Macek said. “It’s awesome. Most schools also have a bus like this so it is good to see it here.”
Macek said another reason the University District Shuttle is great, is because it promotes safety for students.
“It also helps to keeps us safe from driving drunk and from the robbers late at night,” he said. “It really is a great service.”
Felder said he encourages any student to hop on the evening shuttle during a weekend night.
“It keeps kids out of trouble, and you don’t have to worry about DUIS,” he said. “It makes me proud to hear how grateful the kids are. It really is a great service.”