The “Western Wagon,” “Viking Vessel” and “Vanny McVanface” are just some of the proposed names that could be gracing the sides of Western’s new late-night transportation vehicles this coming fall.
Through July 31, students can submit names for the new service for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the Associated Students Bookstore.
A new name isn’t the only change, the service will also operate like Uber or Lyft instead of on fixed routes like the old shuttle system. According to transportation planning manager Jillian Trinkaus, the fleet will consist of one minivan and an ADA accessible transit van both of which will have bike racks.
Students will be able to order cars to their location free of charge because costs will be covered by the Alternative Transportation Fee.
“We think it’s going to dramatically improve transportation options for students. Whether you’re at the library late at night or you happen to be downtown after the buses are done, we want to provide you with a safe and accessible riding option,” transportation services manager Shelby Zimmerman said.
The idea came about last summer, and the office has spent the past year discussing the change with campus stakeholders, compiling student survey responses and talking to other universities about their shuttle services, Zimmerman said.
Though the exact area covered by the new service isn’t finalized, Zimmerman said students will likely be able to request a pickup from anywhere on campus, some off-campus housing, downtown Bellingham and other popular shopping spots in the area.
Hours of operation and app specifics are also still being worked out, but the Western Transportation Office is anticipating a fall rollout.
As for the contest entries, they’ll be reviewed and selected by a committee, and the winner will be officially announced in late August, Trinkaus said.
Contest submissions are open until July 31 and can be submitted here.