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Campus Apartments wants to see if the road is big enough for another escort service. The company which rents dozens of houses to students in the campus area now offers a free shuttle service which may siphon some of its tenants away from the University's Escort Service. "It's quick and direct," said College junior Walter Benjamin, whose landlord is Campus Apartments. "I don't have to worry about someone stealing my bike, which allows me to concentrate on my studies while I'm in class. It's a necessity that more realtors should be providing." Benjamin prefers the new service to the University's Escort. First-year Veterinary School student Lara Chavin said that the shuttle bus is much more efficient than Escort. "I've used Penn Escort a few times and twice I've had to wait an entire hour," Chavin said. Assistant Director of Transportation and Parking Stephen Carey said that Escort had to deal with a 60 percent increase within the past year. "I hope that [Campus Apartments's shuttle] will decrease the amount of students that use Penn Escort," said Carey. "I hope that the two services will compliment each other." Though the service is still in its infancy, Campus Apartments General Manager Dan DeRitis said he is concerned that some tenants do not know how to register for it. Tenants are asked to come into the Campus Apartments office, verify that they are tenants, and get their names on the shuttle list. Then, tenants need only show their PENNcards for easy access onto the bus. Though Campus Apartments's shuttle service has only been operating for one week, the idea for it was informally considered in 1989. "We originally created the idea for buildings that we had further west two years ago," DeRitis said. "We then abandoned it when we sold the buildings out at 48th Street because we believed that there was no need for it." But DeRitis said that a year ago one of his tenants on 41st Street had suggested the idea of a shuttle service and that many people would use it. Campus Apartments began informally polling prospective tenants coming in to sign leases and received encouraging feedback. This led to the existing shuttle service. To provide efficient service for stops both on and off campus, Campus Apartments has installed a cellular phone in the shuttle bus. This has proven to save time by allowing tenants to call the driver directly, DeRitis said. The service is currently operating from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and continues at 5 p.m. until the early morning hours when it receives its last call. But DeRitis says that flexibility is their main concern, and hours will be adjusted to suit tenant demands. Campus Apartments has set boundaries at 45th and Pine streets, 40th and Sansom streets, 42nd and Chester streets and 33rd Street, which encompasses much of the University area. The shuttle bus will stop at any University building or commercial establishment within these boundaries. In addition, the shuttle service will make stops at both the train station at 30th and Market streets and at Philadelphia International Airport. Though initial responses have been partial to Campus Apartments' shuttle, DeRitis has no desire to rival Escort. "People walking the streets is a concern of mine," DeRitis said. "I live here and walk down the same streets [students] walk down. I guess objectively I see things differently than other landlords. I don't know anyone that lives here but me."

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