On Nov. 25, around 50 Kenyon students were left stranded at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) when the 4 p.m. shuttle did not arrive. Some students formed groups to get Ubers or taxis, while others waited in hopes that the lost shuttle would show up or resigned themselves to wait for the next bus — scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m. In addition to stranding students, the missing bus exposed a larger issue: the incredibly limited transportation options to get to and from campus. Although Student Council contracted a bus service for the busy travel weekends, seats were difficult to get with only two shuttles running per day. The limited number of shuttles left many students without reservations, and for students whose flights landed at inconvenient times, the shuttle was never practical in the first place. Despite the chaos of break transportation, students traveling over break are still relatively fortunate; the College provides no airport transportation at the beginning or end of the school year. One of the most unique things about Kenyon, and one of its greatest strengths, is its rural location — but, knowing this, the College should take on some of the burden of transportation.
The insufficient parking on campus only exacerbates this transportation issue. It is no secret that there is a profound lack of parking for students — a lack that has prohibited some students from being able to have a car on campus. As such, students often have no other choice but to rely on alternative means of transportation, including Knox Area Transit (KAT) and the GoBus. While the KAT may be useful for a quick trip into town, the GoBus only goes to-and-from Columbus once a day at a fixed time. As a captive audience in a rural town, students have to then rely on sparse and unreliable alternatives for long-distance travel — like the delayed Kenyon-provided shuttle at CMH this weekend.
One plausible solution to these transportation issues is a centralized rideshare system. Such a system would allow members of the Kenyon community, including students, faculty and staff, to publicly offer rides and transportation services on-demand to whomever needs them. This could be useful not only for students going to the airport, but also for anybody simply needing to go into town on a Sunday. Whatever the reason, students frequently find themselves in need of transportation, as the nearest town is a 10-minute drive away, and services like Uber and Lyft are not readily available. Other institutions, like the University of Iowa, have successfully implemented a rideshare system through which students and faculty can sign up to drive their peers and community members as needed. Rudimentary iterations of a rideshare community have existed in the past here at Kenyon, but an updated and well-maintained system, either via application or forum, would aid the College’s transportation woes tremendously.
Whatever the solution, Kenyon needs to do something to address the transportation quagmire students have recently found themselves in.
Salvatore, Amelia and Reid
The staff editorial is written weekly by Editors-in-Chief Amelia Carnell ’23 and Salvatore Macchione ’23 and Executive Director Reid Stautberg ’23. You can contact them at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.