Parker Knight

Long shuttle lines at football games concern students

Long shuttle lines after football games have some students upset and concerned for their safety.

Game day shuttles are one of the main modes of transportation for students on campus to attend football games. USC Parking and Transportation Services said they provide a total of 55 shuttles for game day, yet some students say lines are still long. 

Ariana Montoya, a fourth-year nursing student, said she has had to wait up to 40 minutes in the shuttle line at the stadium, and they only load a pair of shuttles at a time. 

“They count off people and load two of the shuttles, and then those leave, and then the rest of them pull up, and then they load those,” Montoya said.  

Montoya said the wait time is problematic, especially when it’s hot. She said it could be a safety risk for students standing out in the heat.  

First-year anthropology student Justice Claiborne was also concerned for students’ safety after late games. 

“I don’t think it’s safe, especially because [in] Columbia there’s a bunch of people just walking around,” Claiborne said. “Say if somebody just happens to stand in a line that shouldn’t be there and then somebody gets hurt. It’s not safe for students or anybody out there.”  

Shuttle manager for USC Parking and Transportation Services Kenyatta Green said several shuttles are sent from Russell House and the Coliseum Lot B (600 block of Lincoln). 

"From the Russell House we normally have 30," Green said. "From the B-Lot, we normally have about 25.”

Although 55 shuttles are provided for football games, Green said there still isn’t much they can do about long lines after games.

“We won’t be able to do anything about the long lines. That’s impossible," she said. "Everybody loves the game. They’re going to come out and they’re going to support the teams and it’s never gonna stop the long lines.”

Green also said shuttle drivers don’t get special driving privileges from patrol officers while driving students back and forth from campus, no matter the volume of traffic. 

“We still have to follow the proper protocols, we still have to follow the proper rules of the roads, all of those things,“ Green said. “They only do that for the football team when they're going to the airport.” 

South Carolina Highway Patrol community relations officer David Jones also said there are no special driving privileges for shuttles, and highway patrol sets up lane reversals to help traffic flow in and out of the stadium. 

“We have a pregame traffic flow pattern and a postgame traffic flow pattern,” Jones said. “The majority of the lanes will be inbound to Williams-Brice prior to kick-off and then beginning in the third quarter, we’ll reverse those traffic cones and traffic direction and will have all lanes heading outbound.“ 

Montoya and Claiborne said there should be more pickup locations in different areas at the stadium to help shorten the lines and make the process smoother, and more shuttles should be loaded at one time. 

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