PLU Campus Safety
Your Safety at PLU

To All PLU Students

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shuttle Program Changes

The following changes in the Campus Safety Shuttle Program have been designed after feedback from ASPLU and RHA, and two student forums.

Change Effective Immediately

You can now text Campus Safety for your shuttle ride request.  Just text the routine line (253-535-7441) with your student ID #, location for pickup, destination and number of riders.  Campus Safety will text you back with an ETA.  If you have questions or need anything else from Campus Safety please call our office.  The texting feature is only for shuttle requests.

Change Effective June 1, 2014

The existing boundaries for the Campus Safety shuttle service will return to 116th Street South, Ainsworth Avenue, Tule Lake Road, Pacific Avenue South (the original boundary when this service started in 2005).  The shuttle service will be provided during the academic year only and will not be available in the summer.

Background Information

In 2005, the Campus Safety department began offering a shuttle service that operates 24/7 and within a designated perimeter around the campus community.  In 2007, the perimeter was expanded and currently extends over 1.5 miles from campus.  The intent behind the program is to provide a safe means of transportation for students who do not feel safe walking alone in the area immediately around the campus.  However, over the years the demand on this program has grown as students have used it more as a taxi service.  The shuttle program provides over 22,000 rides per year.

The shuttle program is one of the major services provided by Campus Safety.  Each year the program is reviewed.  We look for ways to make it more efficient, sustainable and readily available for its original purpose...safety. 

In response to student dissatisfaction with the wait time for shuttles, this last year the size of the perimeter was examined.  We found that a very small portion of the student population live to the north of campus between 116th St. S and 112th St. S, or to the west of campus between Ainsworth Ave. and Steele St.  The concentration of PLU students is much closer to campus.  The number of rides to this area was only a quarter of the total rides and was used by a small portion of the student body.  Many of these rides were to the QFC.  The extended distance from campus also created two issues for the Campus Safety service we would like to improve.  We would like to decrease our response time to ride requests and increase our presence around the campus.

We conducted two student forums with the assistance of RHA and ASPLU, one in November and one in January, to solicit input from students on this proposed change and gather any additional ideas on the program.  Both ASPLU and RHA provided their support for the perimeter change.

This change will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year.  Click here to see the map of the new perimeter.  Click here to review the Escort/Shuttle policy.  Students living just outside the new perimeter may call for a shuttle and walk to an address within the perimeter for a ride.

The shuttle service will operate only during the academic year.  During the summer months, the Escort Officer position that is staffed by student employees is not available.  Continuing the service during the summer puts a heavy strain on the Safety Officers who are focused on performing their duties related to the campus itself.  The Safety Officers are our first responders to calls for service, such as medical aid calls, crimes in progress and routine patrols.  Taking these officers away from the campus severely limits our ability to respond appropriately to these calls during the summer.

Some of the alternatives to the shuttle include Pierce Transit and Zipcar.  PLU has partnered with Zipcar to provide cars for rent on an hourly basis right from campus.  This service is a great resource for students wanting to go off campus for shopping, movies and other activities.  Click here for more information on the Zipcar program.

We will be assessing these changes over the course of the year, and thank you for your support.  Should you have additional questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact me at campussafety@plu.edu or 253-535-7441.

Stay safe and have a great Spring.

Greg Premo
Director of Campus Safety
Contract City Chief, Pierce County Sheriff's Department

PLU Campus Safety
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
253-535-7441

campussafety@plu.edu

www.plu.edu/campus-safety

Campus Resources:
ASPLU
Residence Hall Association
Zipcar
Pacific Lutheran University