Letter to the Editor: Transportation options for underclassmen need improvement

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As of today, I’ve happily lived on campus — in the Botetourt Complex, no less — for a little more than two months. I’ve found my niche, favorite place in Earl Gregg Swem Library to study, and successfully manage to get to most of my classes on time thanks to my trusty bike.

The problem appears, though, when I need to leave the center of Williamsburg. As a freshman, I’m not allowed to have my car on campus, so leaving campus is an activity that requires I take the bus, bike in tow. It really requires good planning since the buses are, at most, once an hour. 

This week, I thought, “I need to go to run some errands, let me check out one of the Zipcars.” At first, everything seemed to go well. The problems started on Tuesday morning when I learned the reservation I made was cancelled. “Not a problem,” I thought. “I’ll rebook for another time this week.” I rebooked for Wednesday night, spent 15 minutes on the line with customer service only to find out that the person in front was late. As a last ditch I tried again on Thursday, but the car was in the shop, and I had to spend another half hour on the phone waiting to get a customer service rep. I was just trying to get to the grocery store — a task that would have been done quickly if my means of transportation hadn’t fallen through.  

There is so much more to the Hampton Roads than what lies on either end of Duke of Gloucester Street, and I would love to go to the theatre in Norfolk or shopping in Richmond. But without reliable transportation, I would have to plan carefully far in advance just for those simple things. 

I love Williamsburg. I don’t love the dearth of transportation options available to me.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider whether an Alumni House enlargement or additional bus service throughout Williamsburg is worth it.

Justin Oei

jmoei@email.wm.edu