All aboard the HSU express

Shopping shuttle makes way for affordable groceries

HSU now offers a free shopping shuttle for students. All you need is your student ID number, shopping destination, and a release of liability and you are set to ride. This free service, provided by HSU’s Student Life Center, runs every first and third Saturday from 10am to 5pm with potential to expand based on student feedback. Students are picked up from The J or College Creek Marketplace and can ride to Target, Old Town Eureka, the Bayshore Mall, Winco, or Henderson Center. This service allows students to explore the greater Humboldt area while reducing their carbon footprint.

Molly Kresl, Student Life Coordinator at the Office of Student Life, has helped spearhead this program and hopes the shuttle service will help students meet their shopping needs.

“It’s our way of trying to help students explore new areas outside of Arcata proper and see all that Humboldt County has to offer, while also offering more accessible shopping for our students,” Kresl said. “Also sustainably, we’re encouraging our students to not bring cars up here in part because we don’t have a ton of parking but also because there’s other ways to get around.”

The student shopping service is actually a relaunch from an idea that spawned just before COVID-19 hit the brakes on much of student life in early 2020. The shuttle ran just once before COVID restrictions stifled the program’s efforts. Presently, as pandemic restrictions loosen, the shuttle is running, employs student drivers, and is helping rebuild our student community.

As mandated by the CSU system, students must have vaccination information or a medical exemption in order to ride. When getting on board, students must sign a release of liability, which includes a wellness check, to make sure they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. The six foot social distancing guideline has been lifted for campus, as long as people are masked. The shuttle provides masks, hand sanitizers and wipes for students that need a ride.

For Kresl, the shuttle is a way to support and provide resources for students. Students can also request services through the Student Life Center if they see an unmet campus need.

“The only way we are able to make change is by knowing what change wants to be made.” Kresl said.

Sophia Bernardino, a senior from SoCal, rode the shuttle and was pleased with the opportunity.

“I don’t drive and using the shuttle service was very helpful,” Bernardino said. Bernardino went on to say she hopes the shuttle expands its services so other students can utilize the program.

Chase Markham, residential advisor for Cypress dorms and Student Affairs Vice President also tried the shuttle service on its inaugural run. For Markham, this service is practical and helpful for his success.

“I don’t have a vehicle so I’m either hoofin’ it or I’m on public transportation, and this shuttle program for students is absolutely fabulous,” Markham said.

Although there are other affordable transportation opportunities such as the student bus pass, the student shopping shuttle is helpful because it’s only for students.

“It gives us a great avenue to get out there and get the stuff that we need without having to go through more hassle or risk to COVID exposure,” Markham said.

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