Anya Sczerzenie, Contributing Writer
VCU launched a temporary cross-campus shuttle service for the fall semester to help students travel between campuses during COVID-19.
The shuttle service is run out of three charter-style buses that transport students between Cabell Library and two MCV locations: One Capitol Square and McGuire Hall.
Third-year student Madelena Eifert said she’s glad the university made an effort to help students with transportation after shutting down the Campus Connector, which stopped service in 2019 after the GRTC pilot program began.
“There’s not many other modes of transportation you can take in the city, if you don’t want to walk a long distance,” Eifert said, “unless you have a car.”
The shuttle service, which began on Friday, operates on weekdays from 6 a.m. to midnight, with buses arriving every 20 minutes. Buses can be tracked through the Ridesystems app or on ramride.ridesystems.net.
The bus’ social-distancing guidelines allow 24 students or fewer per bus and require face masks to be worn at all times. The VCU Parking and Transportation website includes a document outlining the shuttle’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Students with VCU IDs can ride the Pulse and GRTC buses for free, and face masks are required to ride. GRTC’s website suggests that passengers only make essential trips and social distance where possible, but there is no strict passenger limit on GRTC buses.
“Having that accessibility, being able to go somewhere far away, is a great thing to have as a resource.” — Jayden Watkins, freshman pre-med student
Third-year student Kendall Gehring believes the shuttle bus will be safe as long as everyone follows the mask and social distancing rules.
“I feel like the university can more strongly regulate whether people are following protocols on the shuttle than on the Pulse,” Gehring said.
The temporary service will stop giving rides Nov. 24 when the semester ends.
Freshman pre-med student Jayden Watkins said that because of his major, he may have to take a bus between campuses in the future.
“I’m not really nervous about going on the Pulse because of how strict the mask policy is,” Watkins said. “I would say the biggest benefit of riding the Pulse over the shuttle is that if you miss a bus, the next one comes in 10 minutes. It’s very reliable.”
Although Watkins has not ridden the VCU shuttle, he says he is glad it exists
“Having that accessibility, being able to go somewhere far away, is a great thing to have as a resource.” Watkins said.