The Marguerite Shuttle, a fixture of transportation on campus since 1973, is a free public service shuttle that operates 15 lines at over 183 stops in and around campus.
It is managed by Stanford’s Parking and Transportation Services and provides over 5,000 rides daily, totaling over 1.4 million rides per year.
The practice of offering free public transport is as old as the University itself. The Marguerite was named after a horse–part of the horse and 12-person buggy service that was the original mode of transport from Palo Alto to Stanford.
Today, transportation on campus has been revolutionized. Marguerite riders can use a live shuttle map, MyBus, or Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and GPS to track real-time Marguerite arrival information and location from their laptops or mobile devices. The fleet of buses runs partially on biodiesel .
In Feb. 2011, Stanford announced significant changes to the Marguerite system, changing routing and scheduling to increase efficiency after two rounds of review based on feedback from the Stanford community.
While some are satisfied with the Marguerite service and rely on it to reach locations such as the Caltrain Station or the Stanford Shopping Center, others are not fans of the transport system, which they claim can be inefficient.
Paul Benigeri ’15 reported an unpleasant experience with the Marguerite.
“It took me 65 minutes to get to Trader Joe’s [in Town and Country Village] because the driver missed the stop and ended up doing the whole loop again.”
Yet for some students without cars on campus, the shuttle provides a valuable service.
“I travel on the Marguerite mostly for grocery runs, as the bags are too large to fit on my bike, ” said Laila Chima ’15. “I t is always a great experience. I like that the drivers are friendly, shuttles are on time and it covers almost every place on campus.”
Stanford University Libraries (SUL) started using the Marguerite for a more creative purpose this month: The “ Marguerite Moment ” is the equivalent of an elevator pitch branded for Stanford. SUL employees participating in a customer service program will practice “Marguerite Moments,” which ask employees to imagine giving one-minute pitches to fellow Marguerite riders.
- Natasha Weaser