With Saint Leo’s growing population, it has become a concern among the students about whether or not there will be a public transportation system put in place. Though some students on campus have their personal cars, many have to rely heavily on friends, or different taxi services to get off campus. These services are generally limited, and quite costly to college students.
Saint Leo’s Student Government Union (SGU) is aware of these issues among the general population and has been in dialogue with the student population and administration to see what can be done regarding our access to public transportation systems.
“Though we are fully aware that there are concerns among the student population regarding cost effective and reliable transportation systems, we are in need of more information regarding how we can help. The student government union will be releasing a survey during this week to obtain further information about the issues,” said Melissa Bryan, vice president of operations for SGU. “This survey is being released not only to the student body, but to members of faculty and staff. This way, as a student government body, we will be better able to understand, and try to seek ways in which the concerns can be lessened.”
Until that is done, students have to find more suitable means of transportation. Martina McKoy, a sophomore majoring in psychology told the Lions’ Pride that she is undoubtedly grateful for the trips Campus Activities Board (CAB) have off campus.
“I take advantage of the Walmart and mall trips CAB have scheduled each month. Though I wish they were more regular, they really do help out a great deal, and without that, I would pretty much be totally dependent on my friends and roommates to carry me grocery shopping,” said McKoy. “The recreational trips also provide me with an opportunity to get away from campus and have fun with my friends. I look forward to trips such as Food for Thought, where transportation is basically on the school!”
Students may also find it useful to split the cost of an Uber with friends who plan to go to the same destination. The average cost of an Uber from Saint Leo’s main campus to Tampa ranges from $30-$45. It may also be useful to look for discount coupons, as this may reduce the cost significantly. However, within the Saint Leo community, Ubers may generally be limited and/or expensive.
Romario White, a freshman majoring in computer science, said “I am lucky to have friends who are almost always on the go, and ready to carry me wherever I want to go. The Ubers in this area are so limited and they are expensive. I usually just help out with gas money for my friends’ cars, and if I am really desperate, I go in search of an Uber. I remember last semester when I was in such a situation as I had to travel to the airport, and the school’ shuttle system was fully booked. I paid more money for the Uber than my bus ticket to Fort Lauderdale, and I thought this was ridiculous.”
With the University’s growing population, there may be prospects for a public bus route within our area. Last year, a public bus route was added to area of Land O’ Lakes.
In fact, on Apr. 23 of last year, The Tampa Bay Times published an article stating that “Following pleas from residents and Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano, county commissioners tentatively have agreed to enhance the local bus service — including adding a long-awaited circulator route in Land O’ Lakes.”
Perhaps the change has begun here, and with the University’s increasing numbers, there will soon be inclusion of the city in local public bus routes.