A new Marguerite shuttle launched this quarter to serve students living in the Oak Creek Apartment complex, the main source of Stanford’s off-campus housing, from 9 p.m. to midnight, seven nights a week. The shuttle, which will continue to service Stanford for the remainder of the academic year, transports students between Oak Creek and Tresidder Union, with shuttles stopping at both locations every 20 minutes.
Ward Thomas, the transportation operations manager at Stanford University Parking and Transportation, refers to the OCA shuttle as a “sprinter” vehicle that can hold up to 16 people and up to five bikes depending on the size of the van.
Rodger Whitney, the executive director of Stanford’s Residential and Dining Enterprises Student Housing, stated that the large numbers of Stanford students living in Oak Creek led to an increase in student demand for the shuttle compared to previous years. He also believes that the shuttle will allow students living in the apartments to feel more closely connected to campus.
“R&DE Student Housing has contracted with Oak Creek for some years now to provide additional housing when demand on campus exceeds supply,” Whitney said. “It is our goal that the students residing in these apartments have an experience very similar to apartment residents on campus.”
The Oak Creek shuttle began its service in order to facilitate transportation to and from campus for students living in Oak Creek, many of whom have recently returned to campus after having studied abroad during fall quarter.
According to Edith Wu-Nguyen, the resident director at Oak Creek, there are 220 undergraduates living in the 15 different buildings. According to Wu-Nguyen, Oak Creek housed 60 undergraduates when it was first used for Student Housing in January 2009.
Wu-Nguyen said that funding was a major issue that delayed the implementation of the shuttle service, which Stanford hopes will prevent unsafe driving or biking from campus to Oak Creek.
“The road from Governor’s Corner to Oak Creek is really dark,” said Lauryn Williams ’14, who spent last quarter abroad and was assigned to Oak Creek. She uses the new Marguerite shuttle whenever she has meetings on campus at night.
“You just wonder how students in the past got around without a car or even without a bike,” she said.
Sarah Kunis ’14, who was assigned to Oak Creek after studying in Washington, D.C. last quarter, believes that the shuttle is an integral part of her new life at Stanford.
“The shuttle has the potential to make Oak Creek less isolating for people, and friends can come and visit,” Kunis said. “This benefits not only people in Oak Creek but also people who don’t live in Oak Creek… I think it can build a good community.”
Kunis reported taking the shuttle three times since starting school this week, noticing that there were at least three to ten riders at all times with her when she used the service. The shuttle also makes about five stops within the Oak Creek complex.
Students who have been living at Oak Creek since fall quarter also report appreciation for the new service.
“The Oak Creek shuttle line has definitely changed the way I get around,” said Susan Chang ’15, who has been living in Oak Creek since September. “The Oak Creek shuttle, in junction with the other ‘nocturnal’ shuttles… makes it possible for me to get around by myself more comfortably and safely.”
“One of the conditions to allow to the shuttle to run was that the shuttle service be available to any Oak Creek resident,” Wu-Nguyen said. “You don’t have to just be a Stanford student.”