When searching for the perfect school, campus tours are an irreplaceable resource. But what happens when the information given on these tours is false? If you have walked around campus and spotted a tour outside the Usdan Student Center, you have probably heard boasts about the Waltham and Boston/Cambridge shuttle services. While guides often praise the shuttle’s reliability, this is not the experience of most Brandeis students. 

After the switch from Joseph's transportation to DPV Transportation, students hoped that the new Waltham and Boston/Cambridge shuttle would be more reliable. Though the drivers for the campus shuttle have been praised for their kindness and punctuality, this is not the case when we look outside the Brandeis campus. Despite removing driving the BranVan as a job for students due to a lack of consistency, the new shuttle service has been the same in terms of dependability on the Waltham and Cambridge/Boston routes. With the implementation of the TripShot application, students are able to track the shuttle and plan routes, seemingly solving many issues that existed prior to the new company. However, students are often faced with notifications of issues with the tracking or transportation services. 

Furthermore, Brandeis claims to provide its students with “safe and efficient transportation.” However, many members of this editorial board have been left stranded in the greater Waltham area due to shuttles failing to show up. Not only is this inefficient, but it is extremely dangerous. In theory, the Boston/Cambridge shuttle is scheduled to run until 1:45 a.m. from Friday and Saturday to Sunday. However, in practice, this shuttle is rarely seen running at this hour. This means that young adults are often forced to take an expensive ride from a stranger via Uber or Lyft quite a far distance rather than the “safe” shuttle option advertised by their school. This concern for student safety has been compounded by the University’s stances on current events, which have placed a greater target on Brandeis students. The risks described in Matthew Rushton’s March 9 email warning students about an individual harassing students walking on and near campus shed even more light on the need for safe, reliable transportation options for students.

With this being said, it is important to note that safety on the Waltham and Boston/Cambridge shuttles themselves is also a concern. There is no policy requiring IDs to be checked, so anyone can walk onto the shuttle. This could potentially put the students and drivers alike at risk. 

When it was announced that Brandeis would be hiring a new transportation manager, there were hopes that many of the issues stated above would be resolved. Nevertheless, this new manager has not completed any substantial work up until this point and students are beginning to become restless. As a board, we encourage students to submit feedback through Tripshot. We understand sporadic issues, but leaving students stranded and unable to return to their homes on campus is an unacceptable outcome. By creating a direct line of communication between students, drivers and the administration, hopefully, we can resolve some of these problems.