UCF has undertaken a new expansion effort aimed at on-campus students without a car, or simply at those who would rather save on gas and save a few trees.
The grocery shuttle runs from bus stops at '63 South (formerly Marketplace), Nike, the CFE Arena and Lake Claire to the Publix supermarket off McCulloch Road and Alafaya Trail Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to the Parking Services website.
After revving off on Aug. 19, student response has generally been warm.
"I think it's very efficient. It's a great way to get around, especially if you don't have a car," said Logan Patrick, a freshman civil engineering major.
Patrick was waiting for the shuttle on a bench outside the CFE Arena on a sweltering, 90-degree morning. Sitting on a bench a couple of feet in front of him was industrial engineering junior David Dunn.
"This is my second time using it," Dunn said. "It's pretty good compared to having to use KnightLynx, which is only available for groceries for two hours on Saturday and Sunday before it shuts down."
The shuttle is the brainchild of the UCF community at large.
"The idea really formed out of student need and request," said Student Government Association President Weston Bayes.
Starting in a semester that has also seen the announcement of a Downtown Orlando campus in the works, the grocery shuttle represents a growing expansion ideal for the University.
Bayes said the shuttle "fits under a tenant of the UCF Creed — community. This serves as a great way to make the surrounding UCF community more accessible to students."
And that is exactly what students thank the shuttle for accomplishing.
"I think it's awesome," said Kirsten Smith, a freshman business management major. "I take it every week. It's pretty easy and I don't have a car."
Despite the praise, the service seems to be underlined by an apparent punctuality problem.
"It's supposed to run every half an hour, I think, and I've been sitting here in the heat dying," Smith added. "And the map they have is wrong because they have it going in the opposite direction."
Deja Monroe, a freshman human resource management major, carried her heavy groceries to her Towers apartment after exiting the shuttle at the CFE Arena stop.
"It leaves early all the time. I had to come two times and each time it always left early," she said.
However, Monroe said that "if it would be there when it's supposed to be, it'd be perfect."