At Elon University, the convenience and well-being of students are absolutely paramount, something that is reflected in the variety of transportation options provided to students. These options — multiple BioBus routes both on and off campus, Enterprise CarShare rental service, E-Rides for night transportation and periodic airport shuttles, just to name a few — aren’t simply intended to be convenient, though. In some cases, they can be crucial for students.
The balance between student needs and university resources is even more important to Elon now as it considers the addition of another new transportation option to its roster. Recently, the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) has established a new express bus route running between Greensboro and Chapel Hill: Route 4, or the Alamance Burlington line. As the name might imply, this bus route has a stop in local Burlington — the Alamance Regional Medical Center (ARMC) — only about four miles from campus. As a result, Elon is now considering the implementation of a connector service for students between campus and the Burlington stop.
This venture is rife with potential. Elon attracts students from all over the world, so it’s more than likely that many students might be unfamiliar with such significant North Carolina locales as Greensboro and Chapel Hill. But, at the present moment, the only way to reach these places is through CarShare, leaving those without licenses to depend on other students to drive, use an external transportation service or abandon going to these places entirely.
As I mentioned before, the quality of transportation at Elon is measured not only by convenience, but also by necessity. In this sense, I feel that there is merit to this transportation option between Elon and Greensboro or Chapel Hill.
Consider, for example, the expanded work and internship opportunities that may result from having easier access to Greensboro and Chapel Hill. This could especially apply to pre-med students, as the express route stops at both ARMC and the UNC Hospitals. It’s still too early at this point to speak in any certain terms, but there is potential here to greatly enhance the experiences of Elon students, allowing them to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities that once lay just beyond reach.
Some students may not be interested in utilizing such an express route service, but I believe that the opportunities it provides would make it a popular option among many. The important thing to do now, then, is to help the university determine whether such a connector service would be worth the time and resources required to implement it. The university will lose very little if it does not establish the connector service, but there may be much to gain if it does. Consider what you as a student want to take away from your college experience and how the university can best help you achieve those goals.
Interested in a connector service from Elon to Greensboro and Chapel Hill? Click here to give your input in a survey conducted by the university.