Bus service offers holiday transportation
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 00:11
Campus Connections, a bus service that runs through UW Oshkosh, has started a new bus service to help students and employees get home for the holidays and academic breaks.
The fare to the Twin Cities is $52.25 one-way and $104.50 round-trip, which includes a box lunch, Internet and movies.
According to Bob Sullivan of Campus Connections, the service is expressly for students. The Oshkosh spot of pickups and drop-offs are in front of Albee Hall and Pool. Pickup and drop-off in the Twin Cities will be in the north parking lot of the Mall of America.
Sullivan said he got the idea of providing a bus service from his own personal experience.
“I have driven motor coaches for Northfield Lines for nine years and was aware of a similar route that ran between the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and the University of Wisconsin Madison,” Sullivan said.
As a graduate of Cornell College, Sullivan said he was also aware of transportation problems students had getting home for the holidays while attending smaller schools in smaller towns.
“So one day I started to think about the possibility of grouping schools together based on similar academic schedules and providing them with a network of routes that might get them home for the holidays,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he has some goals in mind for Campus Connections this year.
“This year, the goals are one, to offer service for Thanksgiving, winter, spring and Easter breaks, and two, to create a hub using the campuses in the Twin Cities with routes to Fargo-Grand Forks, Appleton-Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford-Chicago and Cedar Rapids-Iowa City,” Sullivan said.
According to Sullivan, in order for each route to be successful, tickets need to be sold both ways.
“Nov. 20 route involving the Oshkosh will originate in Northfield, Minn. with picups at St. Olaf, Carleton, St. Mary’s, Winona State and UW-La Crosse and drop-offs in Appleton and Green Bay,” Sullivan said. “The coach will then turn around and pick up students at UW-Green Bay, St. Norbert, Lawrence and Oshkosh and drop them off at the Mall of America in the Twin Cities.”
The process will be reversed the Sunday after Thanksgiving with pickups in the Twin Cities and drop-offs on the campuses, according to Sullivan.
“I think it is a great chance for students to get home,” Oshkosh freshman Annie Hackbarth said. “I know it can be hard to be away from home, so this opportunity is beyond great.”
Fellow freshman Alex Peters said he thinks the service is convenient.
“I think it is really nice that the University has this option,” Peters said.
According to Sullivan, putting together such a schedule requires the grouping of campuses with similar academic calendars and Thanksgiving is the easiest one to coordinate.
“Winter and spring breaks are far more challenging,” Sullivan said. “So I will do my best to serve as many campuses as possible during these other breaks, but cannot make any promises regarding the service to any one particular campus on any one particular date. I will be working on the routes and schedules for winter break after Nov. 1 and have them ready to post by Nov. 15.”
Sullivan said he is grateful for Oshkosh’s assistance.
“I believe they [Oshkosh] immediately saw the value of the route to the Twin Cities and have been very supportive in setting up the service at Oshkosh,” Sullivan said. “It would not have been possible without them.”
There will be a bus service on both the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. Tickets are sold online at www.campus-connections.net.