Many students have mixed emotions when it comes to their experiences riding the Bobcat shuttle.
For some students, the idea of riding the tram was humiliating until it became a necessity. Others view it as a comfortable but slow commodity.
The reality is the tram is helpful but not always a pleasant ride. Riding the tram can be described as a violation of the senses or a trip with the most cliché characters of an MTV reality show, to put it in perspective.
“When people either talk extremely loud on the phone or share way too much of their personal lives, it makes others uncomfortable,” said Amanda Tucker, exercise and sports science junior.
Small everyday obnoxiousness is amplified while riding the bus. Tucker said excessive cursing, over the top conversations, pointless stories and body odor are inescapable realities.
Small talk is considered a nice gesture for many, even though some take this idea to extreme levels at times, sharing intimate details of their lives to strangers.
Joshua Gutierrez, international studies senior, said being on the phone during the shuttle ride is an annoyance, adding that being forced to listen to someone else’s one-sided conversation is an unpleasant way to spend a bus ride.
Once in a while, bus-riders may encounter an individual who is still in party mode from the weekend, content to blast techno music loud enough for all passengers to hear. Sometimes this can be enjoyable, but according to Roxette Doria, undeclared junior, not everyone enjoys listening to hip-hop or trap music and getting “turned-up” early in the morning.
The one factor that seems to bother almost every passenger is overcrowding on the shuttle. Personal space often appears to have no meaning when riding the tram. Oxygen seems to vanish and a certain peculiar smell takes over the tram: body odor. Gutierrez said keeping body odor-free, refraining from smoking before the ride and brushing one’s teeth are basic rules of survival everyone should follow when riding the tram.
“It is proper to wear deodorant when riding the tram. It sounds like something logical, but some people just don’t do it,” Doria said. “Sometimes there is no personal space during the ride, try and at least smell decent.”
Due to the proximity of sweaty bodies and hormones, the bus can sometimes be the perfect place to flirt and meet people. On the other hand, bus-riders can run the risk of accidentally engaging with overzealous students who might be touchy-feely. Doria said this experience is one of the most uncomfortable faced by shuttle-goers.
“The tram has downfalls like everything else, from its limited space to the inconsistency of the schedule, but I enjoy the convenience of the bus,” Tucker said. “People just need to be respectful to others. Control the noise level and the space they take up. Just follow the rules.”