Students seek better transportation options
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He limped into Springfield on crutches with a torn ACL and no car. This is the situation, Gregory, Mich. native, Andy Cerveny found himself in when he moved to UIS last summer. Cerveny had injured his knee right before heading to UIS, 400 miles away from his hometown, and transportation was about to become a concern.
“There’s a lot of people that would like to go to Wal-Mart and they’ve got to wait for the bus or have to find a ride,” said the sophomore criminal justice major. “What if there was transportation that could go back and forth? Or to the train station? Or even for people who have disabilities, something to help them get to rehab? There is literally no provided transportation from UIS.”
During Monday night’s Student Government Association Town Hall Meeting, Cerveny and other students voiced their frustrations about the lack of transportation options on campus for students without a car.
After moving to UIS, Cerveny had the challenge of not only finding a rehab clinic, but finding a way to get to the clinic three times a week.
“I asked them [UIS] for disability help and they said ‘no, we don’t do that. We don’t provide rides to rehab,’” he said. “So I had to hunt around on crutches for rides.”
He even tried looking to the athletic department, and asked to utilize their training facilities to help him with rehab.
“I came here, I thought, ‘I’m paying tuition, I should get some kind of benefit, right?’” he said. “So I went to the athletic department and they told me they only work on athletes.”
He and a friend looked for help elsewhere on campus, but couldn’t find any.
“They [UIS] didn’t provide anything for me,” he said. “There was no support for the other students who weren’t athletes to get disability transportation.”
The transportation issue has been on the minds of SGA President Aaron Mulvey, as well as Internal Vice President Dane Vincent. But Mulvey said the work was, “still in its infancy stage.” However, stories like Cerveny’s may help shed light on the issue.
On other college campuses, shuttles, zip cars (an hourly car rental program) and other services are readily available. Vincent said due to a no-compete contract UIS has with the Springfield Mass Transit District, these services are not available to UIS students.
Though Cervney is now healthy and walking without problems, he still feels the transportation issue needs immediate addressing.
“For disabled people, there should be vehicles on campus, like vans or something, for those in wheelchairs that need easy accessibility because even though they’re disabled they still have places to go,” he said. “For general transportation, even if there was transportation between Wal-Mart and here, that would help a lot of us out.”