Being away from home or not having a car up at college could prove a challenge to some people, especially if they are not used to riding public transportation.
In interviews, St. Cloud State’s students discussed some of the difficulties of relying on public transportation to get around St. Cloud.
Sophomore Megan Howell, from Rochester, Minn., rarely took public transportation at home. Howell said the maps are confusing and the routes that Metro Bus takes do not seem clear to her.
“When I tried to go donate plasma, I ended up taking three different buses and actually got let off in the middle of the road by one of the drivers because none of them knew where I was going when I asked for directions,” Howell said.
Finally one of the bus drivers at the Metro Bus hub downtown took out a map and circled her destination and explained in detail how to get there. Howell finally got the correct answer of where to get off and how to get back home. “If the routes were clearer and more people had knowledge of the routes in St. Cloud, it would make it easier to travel to and from school,” said Howell.
One of the other big inconveniences for some students is when the bus runs. Buses 5, 8, 11 and 12 serve St. Cloud State’s campus. Bus five leaves 15 after the hour. Bus eight leaves at the top of the hour and every half hour. Bus 11 leaves every 15 after and 15 to the hour. To make the bus on time, people need to rearrange their schedules.
“[Sometimes] the bus drives by earlier than expected, sometimes by five minutes, so I either then have to wait for the next bus or walk in order to make it to class,” said Sophomore Kendall Houck of Cromwell, Minn.
Even though Houck has a car on campus, public transportation is free for students so she takes advantage of that opportunity.
In the spring and summer months, walking will not be a problem if Houck misses the bus, however, in the winter this could cause some problems. Houck suggests having more buses running to and from classes regularly. For instance, one of the buses leaves at 4:30, but classes do not get out until 4:45, so students have to wait another half hour to catch the next bus.
“They [Metro Bus] had a couple complaints and that is why they changed the Bus 11 route and times,” said Tina, a Metro Bus Customer Service Representative. Coming back into town, Bus 11 does not serve places across from Coborn’s but instead serves Garden Square, where there is a more heavily populated student population.