By Josie Loza
“Park for free! Use the shuttle bus,” advertisements are seen all over UNO’s campus.
The word “free” is a great tool to grab any student’s attention. But, is that advertisement accurate?
“If you ask me, it’s misleading,” said freshman Andria Miller. “UNO encourages students to use the shuttle to avoid traffic congestion, but they charge for it.”
The costs for shuttle services are shifted to students, through semester fees to help make up for the downfall caused by shuttle bus expenses. Students began paying for the shuttle service this year.
Since the opening of UNO’s South Campus shuttle bus fees have risen dramatically to about $450,000 per year.
The remote parking is free but the ride costs students a small fee. Last year, university officials approved a university-wide fee of 50 cents per credit hour to help finance shuttle bus services. That means a student taking 12 credit hours pays $6 per semester in additional fees. Student parking pass fees haven’t been able to pay for all shuttle bus costs.
“I understand that $6 is not a lot, but why do they advertise it as a free service,” said junior Sara Cervantes. “It’s false advertisement. They give out fliers that say it’s free. It’s not. It’s like lying to your face.”
The student senate will consider options, such as the refunding of fees to students who don’t use the shuttle service (similar to that of the HPER policy).
“I don’t use the shuttle,” Cervantes said. “Those $6 could be used for my parking pass.”
Cervantes quit riding the shuttle last year because she felt like it was too much of a hassle.
“All the shuttle buses do is back up traffic at certain stops,” she said.
Cervantes doesn’t think the university should completely do away with the transportation system but maybe add more buses to the route.
“At certain times during the day there are long waits to get on the shuttle especially over the noon hour,” she said.