CSI makes major changes to Ramapo’s shuttle service

This August, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) announced that its shuttle services would be provided by a new company, Charter Linkz, marking the separation from its predecessor.

Associate Director of the CSI Eddie Seavers oversees the shuttle services and says that CSI worked with the prior company for six years. Over the summer, the contract with the prior one ended, and they needed to look for another company.

Seavers says Charter Linkz responded to the college’s public bid and was chosen. The company came to the college with a one-year bid and the opportunity to renew two more times.

They also added a new shuttle line that runs exclusively between campus and Ramsey Route 17 train station each weekday.

“The new company, Charter Linkz, provided us with new buses and a real-time tracking app which makes the experience run more smoothly,” Seavers said in an interview with The Ramapo News.

The app, called TripShot, was added with the hope that more students will use the shuttle. The app is a live tracking service provided for students to see the real-time location of the bus, get notifications about traffic or delays and give students exact times for shuttle routes all in one place.

Sophomore and commuter Christina Lenda takes the shuttle about two to three times a week. “I downloaded [the app]. However, I deleted it as I found it to not be super helpful since I usually arrive early enough for the bus to show up early, late, or on time,” she says.

The app is more helpful for those who do not regularly check the website and may be running behind. It is there to connect students and make sure that they are on time so that they can get to where they need to go in a timely and safe manner.

In addition to the new app, this year brings a new stop to the schedule: CityMD. Health Services operates during regular business hours, but CSI saw the new stop as a necessity so students who live on campus have access to healthcare outside those hours.

They also added a new shuttle line that runs exclusively between campus and Ramsey Route 17 train station each weekday. The buses for both lines feature a new exterior design, added to make them easily visible to students. Each bus also comes with a sign in the front window to differentiate between the lines, ensuring students know which bus to take.

With the changes, Seavers says that the number of riders on the bus has increased from last year. “This year for the first full six weeks of school, there were 3,487 riders with 83 riders a day. Last year, we had just 68 riders a day for the same time period,” he said.

Junior Bella Apgar, a frequent user of the shuttle bus, said, “I absolutely love the shuttle! I think it’s an amazing resource that Ramapo offers. It’s great for students like me, who don’t have a car… to get the things they need.”

She says the changes do not affect her continued usage of the shuttle to get around and experience more off-campus.

CSI adjusts the schedules for the shuttles to fit students’ needs, whether it is classes, trains or work, and chooses what best works for the community overall. Seavers feels the changes to the shuttle services were the right way to go and will hopefully pull more students to use it.

Junior Rylie Klain works at CSI and has taken the shuttle in the past. “As I work in CSI, every so often I get calls from students about the shuttle or the schedule, and I not only refer them to the app but also have the app downloaded on my phone to help in situations like this and track it myself… on my end,” she said.

Klain says that the app helps students stay informed if there are any issues with the shuttle by sending a message in the app.

CSI urges those who have taken the shuttle to share their experience and provide any feedback that they may contact Seavers via email.




Featured photo courtesy of @RamapoCollegeNJ