The Rise Of Campus Transportation

In the wake of multiple campus improvements that occurred this past summer, transportation on campus has also received some upgrades.

The new Gotcha bikes are one of the several upgrades and offer students a new way to commute around campus. For two dollars to start, and at ten cents per minute to use, the bikes offer students the ability to ride across campus, “ Scan the QR code and when you unlock the bike, it’s going to cost you two dollars initially and ten cents per minute after.”

Some students, however, wonder if these bikes are doing more harm than good. Tremelle Carney, a nineteen year old mass communications major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, feels that the students’ bad animus may stem from a lack of knowledge and familiarity, “I feel like the bikes are a great addition here, they definitely make things look better around the school and more innovative too, I just feel like a lot of people here don’t know how to use the bikes, and if they just read the instructions things would run a lot more smoothly for them.”

This is not helped by the fact that students started encountering errors and glitches when operating the Gotcha app. When logging into the app, students are asked to pay a first time fee of five dollars. Yet, some students reported after typing in their payment information, they did not receive this charge, and others exclaimed that they were overcharged.

During an interview with Gotcha, Operations Manager, James Newkirk, explained in greater detail of what might have caused confusion with the bikes, “We have been working through some kinks on the app [so] while we work through the grey areas we [are choosing to] not charge anyone in the past weeks [because] we don’t want to lose riders over some technical glitches.”

Traffic and Parking has also made some improvements that they hope will make traveling around campus easier. The improvements come in the form of a new digital campus map as well the installation of new parking meters. Director of Traffic and Parking, Eric T. Reid Sr., wants every person who arrives on Southern’s campus to feel welcomed and notes that it starts by making travel around campus as effortless as possible, “We wanted to make available a more convenient parking for our campus community as well our visitors who come to our campus.”

The digital map, which can be found on the homepage in “Campus Map” shows an incredibly detailed map of Southern University. Users have the ability to highlight buildings, points of interest and the two checkpoints. The map also shows the parking lots and their respective parking pass requirement. Reid warns that Traffic and Parking will start ticketing, “We are going to be very diligent in ticketing. Students need to make sure that they have a hangtag while parking on campus.”

In addition, the installation of new parking meters means students and visitors are now able to park closer than ever in areas that are reserved for faculty parking. At a dollar fifty an hour and with the ability to pay in advance for certain parking spots, the traffic meters offer individuals the ability to park in front of the library, T.T. Allain, T.H. Harris, and in front of the bookstore while also generating a new source of income for Traffic and Parking. “This generates the funds that we need to create new parking initiatives,” said Reid.

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