Skip the online complaint, take real action
The blazing sun beams down while the ants make their way up your legs as you await Route 4 to pull into the entrance of The Pointe at Central apartment complex.
Depending on traffic flow, there are typically one or two UCF shuttles that transport students to and from campus every 15 to 20 minutes.
However, Route 4, the shuttle that comes to The Pointe, makes two stops before it even reaches the apartment complex — so, sometimes after waiting 30 minutes, there might not even be enough space to sit.
In the past, I've had to stand or even sit on the floor in order to assure that I would make it to class on time — rather than the alternative of waiting at least 15 minutes for the next shuttle.
The Pointe houses approximately 1,200 residents, with 85 percent in attendance at UCF, said Payton Midkiff, a leasing agent at the apartment complex.
"I think it's a little inconvenient," Midkiff said. "I think the bigger neighborhoods should have their own shuttle that way students can get to school on time."
And I couldn't agree more.
There are 14 regular, fixed shuttle routes between the UCF campus and the following 20 off-campus apartment complexes and Central Florida Research Park, according to the UCF parking-services website.
I understand that the shuttles cannot perfectly plan to be at each stop every 15 minutes, but something needed to be done to make The Pointe's shuttle transportation more efficient.
Students rely on UCF shuttles to get to school, work and tests on time. If students arrive late, they could face harsh penalties: Some professors don't allow students to take tests if they arrive late and employers aren't always forgiving when it comes to tardiness.
Fortunately, UCF transportation services work to better the transportation for students because it understands the reliance students have on the shuttles. Transportation services value its role in giving students one less thing to worry about, or at least that's what I found out when I started to look into the issue.
"We're here to service students, and we're going to make the transportation services ideal for all," said Andy Rampersad, assistant director of UCF Parking and Transportation Services, to me when I called with the complaint.
In the 10 years that Rampersad has worked for Parking and Transportation Services, he said he has not once heard a complaint about The Pointe shuttle system, and he would not have been aware of the inefficiency if I didn't voice my concern.
Since that call, a noticeable change has been made in the shuttle system and I'm happy to see my concerns were taken seriously.
This week, I noticed a sign in the window of a shuttle that reads "Pointe only." I found out an additional shuttle has been designated to only transport students to and from The Pointe.
The change is happening before our eyes, and it honestly feels great to know that my small voice has the power to make a huge difference.
Out of the tens of thousands of Knights on campus, there's bound to be at least a few problems. But if we don't speak up, how can our problems be heard?
Although this may be a small issue for some, it will likely change my day-to-day life.
And if everyone was just a little more proactive in actually trying to fix issues instead of just complain about them online, who knows how much change we would see.