College Corner: Interview with a shuttle passenger

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

No matter how much Swatties like the outdoors, it is hard to deny that the weather has been kind of muggy recently and that it is beginning to get colder with each passing week. Even those who like walking may soon succumb to taking the shuttle. With a majority of the Daily Gazette staff living in Mary Lyon and PPR, we would like to provide some insight on taking the shuttle. With that in mind, we spoke to ML resident Andrew Abdalian ’06 while waiting for the shuttle on a misty Thursday night.

Daily Gazette: How often do you ride the shuttle?

Andrew Abdalian: I ride the shuttle at least once a day. I always ride it home. Every now and then I wake up early enough to ride it to campus.

DG: When would you ride the shuttle instead of walk?

Andrew: If it’s a really nice day out and I don’t have a lot to carry, I’d walk. Otherwise, my laziness gets the best of me, and I take the shuttle.

DG: What would you say to people that don’t really ride the shuttle?

Andrew: I’d say give it a try. I don’t think you guys know what you’re missing. You’re missing some quality transportation.

DG: Have you been happy with the service so far this year?

Andrew: Except for the one time that the shuttle wasn’t running, I’ve been quite pleased with it. I’d give it a definite A-.

DG: Have the shuttles been arriving on time?

Andrew: They’ve been pretty good. If one is late, another one is there to pick up the slack.

DG: What can be done to improve service?

Andrew: I could go for a leather interior and some heated seats.

DG: What would be good snacks to serve on the shuttle?

Andrew: Swedish fish: they taste even better when you’re riding at 30 miles an hour.

DG: If you could be driven between any two places on campus, what would they be?

Andrew: I would say the Science Center and Sharples.

DG: The sides of some of the vans say that only ten people are allowed to ride in a shuttle at once. How many people do you think could fit in at a time?

Andrew: If you’re talking about 1950s style, like how many people can cram into a VW Bug, I’d say a good 30 to 35 people.

DG: If you could replace the current shuttle with any vehicle, what kind would you pick?

Andrew: I’d pick a convertible land speeder. A Star Wars land speeder with a capacity of 20 would be an excellent way to travel.

DG: If you could pick anyone from the Swarthmore community to be your shuttle driver, who would it be?

Andrew: The Willets cat.

DG: What would be the best theme song for the shuttle if it had one?

Andrew: It depends on the driver. Sometimes it could be “Highway to the Dangerzone.” Other times “Magical Mystery Tour” would be ok.

DG: Thanks very much.

Andrew: No problem.

After personally waiting for the shuttle for almost forty minutes, including the time of this interview, we were informed by Public Safety that there was no shuttle driver at the moment and that one would arrive in about ten minutes. On the way back to ML, we again spoke with Andrew.

DG: How do you feel about the shuttle now?

Andrew: I feel betrayed. I feel hurt and angry and a little bit vindictive.

While this reporter did have to walk home, it is ironic to note that I did see the shuttle on Thursday night…it caught my eye as it passed me less than a minute before I got back to the dorm.


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