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What Problems Do Students Face Getting Around College Campuses?

By Nor Cal Vans Team | February 07, 2020

man in wheelchair on college campusRegardless of the college location, every institute has different transportation requirements to aid students and staff with getting around campus and to various activities and events. While the specific details vary, there are three common requirements. First, students and faculty need to get to and from activities that could be on the opposite side of the campus. Second, transportation options must be cost-effective and sustainable. Third, mobility and access for all students must be ADA compliant to accommodate those with disabilities.

Common Transportation Challenges Faced by Students

Depending on the size of the campus, students may have difficulty getting from point A to point B efficiently and face additional challenges getting around campus. These include:

Distance Between Buildings

Most students have back-to-back classes at some point in their college careers. While classes are generally scheduled to give students 10-minutes to get to their next class, that is not often enough time, especially if going to another building. Therefore, efficient transportation is a requirement to ensure students are getting to class on-time.

Inclement Weather

Similarly, if the school remains open, even on days with poor weather, walking could be difficult. If it is pouring rain, an umbrella is not enough for long distances. Walking through mounds of snow to get to class can also delay students. Transportation, such as vans and shuttle buses, are enclosed to shield students from the elements.

Packed Vehicles

Another common issue on campus is having to wait for multiple vehicles to board. When numerous students have class at the same time and are scattered around campus, the transportation options will fill up fast causing students to have to wait longer.


The top priority of any school is to ensure the students are safe. Having a campus transit forces students to walk in poor weather where they can slip and fall. Even on sunny days, walking down inter-campus roads to get to class could be a liability if there is an injury from an accident.

Wheelchair Accessibility

The ADA requires all buildings on a college campus to have a wheelchair ramp or some other accommodating access. However, without ADA-approved shuttles, it can be difficult for those in a wheelchair to get around campus quickly.

Importance of Transportation Vehicles

Think of a college campus as a small city. All cities need mass transit to efficiently move their residents from point A to point B. Similar requirements exist for college campuses, so transportation vehicles are critical to the flow of students for the following reasons:

Transporting Students

The most obvious reason for having transportation vehicles is to transport students between dorms and classes, especially those with special needs. While students may still prefer to walk, having the option to hop on a shuttle is fast and convenient.


Using a fleet of hybrid shuttles can significantly reduce gas costs but also be more environmentally friendly while still fulfilling the transportation needs of the school. Nor Cal Vans offers options that are customized to meet your needs.

ADA Compliance

The purpose of ADA compliance is to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers who require a wheelchair. Transportation vehicles must be compliant to operate on any college campus to ensure those in a wheelchair can quickly get across campus.

Factors that Influence Students to Ride the Campus Shuttle

study conducted by the University of North Dakota regarding factors that influence students’ decisions to ride the shuttle found convenience to be the first reason. Additional reasons include parking availability, time, and accessibility. The primary reason colleges offer this service is to ensure students are safe. This includes not walking back at night down dark walkways alone, and even taking the load off student’s backs due to carrying around a backpack full of books all day.

An effective shuttle service allows students to get out of bed and be at class quickly instead of trekking across campus to try to make it on time or pick-up late-night food at a restaurant. With convenience and safety being the two greatest selling points, also having an efficient schedule is critical.

Companies like Nor Cal Vans offers transportation solutions for college campuses and other educational institutions. Utilizing a fleet of smaller hybrid buses can help reduce costs, sustain the environment and offer the convenience you need, while still meeting the demands of students and faculty. 

Get a Quote Now

Nor Cal Vans designs and builds transportation solutions that change people’s lives. We serve a broad range of industries with our innovative new and used van conversion options including government, education, airport/group transportation, non-emergency medical, secure transport, and refrigeration. We’ve been solving transportation needs for nearly four decades and strive to hold true to our values of teamwork, trust, accountability, growth and a positive attitude.

Posted in Wheelchair Vans, Paratransit