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Getting off Campus within Budget

Getting off Campus within Budget

Who doesn’t like free transportation? Fortunately for us Loyola students, the university offers a variety of shuttle services, both on and off campus. Nonetheless, the student body has been aching for a shuttle system that extends into the greater Baltimore area.   

Loyola currently offers shuttles to main areas around campus, including the FAC, Newman Towers, and the Notre Dame Library. Students can access this shuttle schedule through the app “Double Map,” which shows the location of the different shuttles as well as where they are heading.  

In the past, the university has offered free transportation off campus. Throughout the fall semester, the university offered buses to HampdenFest, the Hampden Light Festival, and the Baltimore Book Festival, events that students look forward to attending every year. A shuttle left every hour from the Notre Dame library, which was convenient and especially helpful to students who didn’t want to, or couldn’t, spend money on transportation. 

Additionally, Loyola introduced another free transportation service last semester: a shuttle that runs to York Road Plaza on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays upon request. As there are multiple shopping centers with grocery stores, nail salons, and restaurants, this transportation opportunity is especially convenient for students who need to complete errands but don’t want to pay for an Uber just for small tasks.   

As students adjust to the semester, there is a growing desire among many to go out and explore Baltimore during their free time. Nonetheless, Uber fees often hold these students back, leaving them stuck on campus. Although Ubers can be inexpensive when splitting the fare among friends, these fees add up to large sums, especially when Ubers are the only opportunity for students to reach Baltimore from Loyola’s campus. 

“I’m really interested in going into Baltimore and exploring the different areas of the city, but paying for Uber all of the time is excessive,” said Clare Leeper ‘23. 

While Loyola offers a substantial amount of opportunities for free transportation, offering weekend shuttles to Hampden and the Inner Harbor, instead of solely for events, would be beneficial to the student community. While Loyola’s campus is in Baltimore, and thus less than a 20-minute drive to the Inner Harbor, many students feel trapped on campus because they don’t want to pay for Ubers. If the university offered free transportation, more students would be more willing to explore Baltimore and its culture.  

Regardless of offering free transportation, Loyola should also be more communicative to students about cheap transportation options around Baltimore. For instance, many students are unaware that they can travel to Washington D.C. by bus for only $5  or the MARC train for only $8 each way, not including transportation fees to the bus or train stations. Additionally, many students are not fully aware of how the bus systems in Baltimore or Maryland function, which would be useful for students who want to visit other Maryland cities but have no way of getting there.  

One of the university’s biggest organizations on campus is OPTIONS, which provides affordable opportunities for students to attend events off campus, even offering a trip to New York City this semester. While OPTIONS is an amazing feature for students, the university should better advertise these activities, as many students are unaware of these cheap trips.  

Overall, while Loyola provides many amazing and feasible options for students to attend fun activities for cheap or even free, the university should be more communicative of these opportunities. 

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Getting off Campus within Budget