Alternative transportation coordinator sets sights on sustainability, accessibility
For many students, the days of being stranded on campus without a WeCar or waiting 20 minutes for the Campus Circulator may soon be over thanks to Andrew Heaslet.
Heaslet, Washington University’s first-ever alternative transportation coordinator, hopes to improve the alternative transportation services that are already in place on campus, including an expansion of the Enterprise CarShare program and the planned addition of a second Campus Circulator.
Heaslet announced the expansion to the car-sharing program—previously called the WeCar program—at a Student Union Senate meeting last week.
“One of the great things about [CarShare] is that we already have nine cars on campus, and we’re about to make it 18, so there should be less excuses for there being no cars available. We’re trying to make it really easy,” Heaslet said. “Conversations with Enterprise are moving along nicely, but we don’t have a firm date yet—we are tentatively saying that they should be available at some point in October.”
For freshmen, who are not allowed to own cars on campus by university bylaw, the CarShare program is especially helpful.
“With CarShare, the freshman no-car rule isn’t a big deal,” freshman Sierra Kindig said. “On the rare occasion that I do need to drive, it’s convenient and affordable.”
Another expansion of a pre-existing program is the addition of a second Campus Circulator. Between the traffic-heavy hours of 8-10 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., the second circulator will make it so that students can catch a ride every 10 minutes instead of every 20. Heaslet said the second circulator should already be running.
While only a fraction of students have cars on Wash. U.’s campus—according to U.S. News & World Report, about 16 percent—Heaslet is still pushing for students to look into alternative forms of transportation.
“We want everyone to try something new. Remember that you don’t need a car on campus,” he said.
Senior Divya Verma agreed that having a car on campus is not essential.
“I had a car on campus last summer, but other than that, I haven’t had one here. I don’t really have a need for a car,” Verma said.
Heaslet is not too worried about reinventing the ways in which students get around St. Louis.
“Wash. U. is already leading the way in alternative transportation,” he said.
He noted that MetroLink should be releasing an application similar to the WUSTL Circulator app to track the location of buses and rail cars. A new online tool that will track MetroBus arrival times is in production as well.