The Methods of Travel Across Shepherd’s Campus

In the bitter cold weather we have had over the past few weeks, you may have found yourself wondering what the best way to travel across campus is, especially if you are a freshman. This is a common issue for both students who reside on campus during the school year and commuters who only visit during their class times.

There are four types of transportation that are commonly utilized by Shepherd University students: walking, driving, biking/skating and using the bus system affectionately referred to as the Pan Tram. Each method of covering ground has its own advantages and disadvantages.

From the sample of students that I asked around campus, walking was considered the favorite way to get around by far. The advantages to walking include the fact that you can cover all forms of terrain and, as sophomore student Maddie Boehm pointed out, “You don’t have to worry about traffic!” Walking is also healthy and you should try to get in 10,000 steps every day to maintain your health.

The main disadvantage of walking is that you are not protected from inclement weather like the sub-zero temperatures that we have been experiencing lately.

Some students, especially commuters, use automobiles to travel the campus. The advantages to using a car include the protection from weather and the ability to go to town, get a snack and make it back in time for class.

The most common complaint about driving on campus involves the infamous parking situation. Anybody who drives at Shepherd University welcomes the opportunity to complain about the difficulty that they have in finding a parking spot each day in time to make it to class. Another disadvantage is the price of gas, which, if you are the average college student, is a very hefty price to pay.

I found very few students who use a bike or skateboard to get to their classes, but as English major Michael McCahey told me, “[Biking] can be the quickest way to get somewhere on campus, especially if you are in a big rush.” The disadvantages to using a bike or skateboard include the fact that it requires some skill and safety preparation to use, and the speed at which you are moving will not make the cold weather any better! A big concern of many students who did not use bikes was that if they decided to bike, then their bike would get stolen.

Finally, there are the Pan Tram buses that move across campus all day and evening in half-hour increment circles of the campus, with stops all over campus. The advantages of using the Pan Tram include the protection from cold and rain, the scheduled structure makes for easy planning, and it provides a nice rest for students who don’t own cars. The disadvantages include the fact that the Pan Tram is slow, you have to learn the stops and when the bus arrives at each, and it is often very crowded.

Now that you know the ups and downs of each method, you can decide which is best for you! Do you already have a favorite way to get around campus? Or a least favorite? Just want to complain about the Pan Tram? Let us know in the comments at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter @SUPicket.

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