College students usually seek out cheap goods and services. But despite being free, Penn Transit Services seem to be underused by undergraduates.
The University’s transit system, which runs Penn Bus East and West and the Penn Shuttle Service, offers their services to students free of charge. The buses run several routes along campus and to Center City, while the Penn Shuttle Service keeps vans on-call for transportation.
Yet, these services appear to be largely unknown among undergraduates, according to Business Services spokeswoman Barbara Lea-Kruger.
“It’s something that’s been there for a long time, but students don’t know about it,” Lea-Kruger said.
Although Brian Shaw, Penn’s director of Business Services, said that people “who need to know about it do know,” the overall student population does not seem to use the system.
College senior David Kuncio said the unawareness of the Penn’s services is “a shame, because a portion of our tuition goes into it.”
It is unclear why students are unaware of the free services offered to them. Outside of New Student Orientation, “it’s not like it’s advertised,” Kuncio said. “The only things on campus are those little signs, and you don’t really see them.”
College senior Janis Kreilis said that “for many kids, it’s not really a need.”
“They’re not very useful because there are some groups of people who can afford a cab and will just take that,” he said.
Because many students live on campus, Shaw said, the services aren’t preferred. He added, however, that “we have a growing number of Penn people who live [off-campus],” making the system a potentially more useful option.
Penn Transit is not necessarily meant to “provide people with free taxis,” he added. It cannot be used to get a ride to the dorm from Jimmy Johns or CVS, but “it is set up to give students the opportunity for safe means of travel.”