In Tough Economic Times, the FRED Gives Students Options
BY TRICIA CALLAHAN
During August’s orientation, freshman and transfer students alike were inquiring about the FRED bus station.
The upperclassmen answering our orientation questions collectively described the system as unreliable and only used by unusual people.
So when I found out that I was going to have to take the bus to get to Caroline County every Friday, I was more than intimidated considering the obvious negative feedback from the student body.
Many people don’t utilize this free means of transportation that comes right to the school itself. All you need is your student I.D.
You can go anywhere from the Spotsylvania Town Center to King George to Caroline County. “There are kinks in the FRED bus station, but the good things definitely outweigh the bad,” one of my FRED bus drivers said.
One may even utilize the FRED bus for spring break travel plans, as they will provide transportation for students from the campus to the train station.
The upperclassmen who made these accusations at orientation most likely didn’t plan their day to match the bus schedule when and if they used the FRED. Instead, they most likely planned there day and then waited at a bus station thinking that eventually it would show.
Conversely, on my first FRED ride, I called before hand and obtained the time I would have to be at the station, my bus identification number (C1) and the return time.
I felt I had everything I needed to successfully ride the FRED bus.
When I approached the tan colored bus I felt a slight sense of relief when I realized that I was the only one on the bus for my very first experience.
The mood was calm as I pulled out my newspaper and started to read, periodically looking out the window to make sure I was headed in the direction I was supposed to be.
I got through the nervous energy and eventually started talking to some of the passengers who joined me and were anything but unusual.
Some even have cars but choose to ride the bus because of the tough economic times.
25 cents or even a free fare (if you are a student at UMW or a participant in the MediCorp Health System) seemed to be more appealing then making a visit to the gas station.
There aren’t any “cooties” on the Fred bus, it does show up and leave on time and it’s free.
Even considering the recent drop in gas prices, the bus should remain a viable means of transportation and alternative to driving.
Tricia Callahan is a sophomore.