September 21, 2020

BY MIKE VIELMA

Conestoga Students Inc. is providing a new shuttle service this year for students, staff and faculty who have valid student and employee ID cards. The free shuttle does a pick up every 30 minutes in four locations: the Conestoga residence front door bus stop, outside Doon’s F-wing and Door 3, and at the front entrance bus stop at the new Cambridge campus. The maximum capacity is 20 people with no standing permitted.

The service starts at 7:35 a.m. every day at residence and has its final drop-off at 3:55 p.m., except on Fridays when it ends at 1:30 p.m.

Along with this new service, comes less congestion in the parking lots. It no longer takes 20-plus minutes to get off campus.

Five weeks into the fall semester, the majority of students are now familiar with their schedule. That means positive improvement for the parking lot congestion issue, especially after 3 p.m.

Barb Eichholz, Conestoga’s security and parking services supervisor, said another reason the congestion is decreasing is because students have met classmates who they are able to carpool with. It makes the ride to and from school more enjoyable and cuts down on the number of cars going in and out of the parking lots every day.

Year after year students and staff offer many ideas to the parking services department to keep the traffic flow smooth and steady.

“It is suggested almost every year that we stop each vehicle either on entry or exit from the parking lot and use a pay as you go method. However, the traffic congestion would be much worse than it currently is,” Eichholz said.

She also said drivers who don’t follow parking regulations are being ticketed every day.

“It is not unusual to issue 200 (tickets) a day,” she said.

People are given tickets for not having a permit, having an expired permit, parking in a fire route or handicap space, parking in the wrong lot and having forged permits, to name a few.
Although it is still mid-fall, winter is fast approaching. Winter driving can slow down traffic because people drive more carefully with the slippery road conditions.

“The facilities management works very hard to ensure that our internal roads our safe and clean,” Eichholz said.

Every year there are always minor fender benders in the parking lots. It is inevitable with students and staff rushing to class and rushing home. So far this year, there have been no injuries and only minor damage to vehicles in parking lot accidents, Eichholz said.