By Shelby Peck | Staff Writer
The student government airport shuttle completed its first round-trip between Waco and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport over winter break, offering 50 students a new form of transportation to catch a flight for their next destination.
“It felt really surreal to see 50 students outside of my office at the SUB on Dec. 14 ready to go, get on the shuttle and see it actually moving dropping students off at the airport,” The Woodlands junior and External Vice President Nick Madincea said.
The shuttle transported students from Waco to the DFW airport on Dec. 14 and brought them back on Jan. 14, according to the Student Government Airport Shuttle website.
To ensure their spot on the shuttle, students had to complete an interest form, sign a waiver and pay a non-refundable fee of $20. Each student was able to bring three pieces of luggage and one carry-on item.
“It’s been great to see the shuttle come to fruition, and I am proud to say that we’ve sold out both of our trips to and from the airport,” Madincea said.
The Dec. 14 and Jan. 14 trips were just the beginning — Madincea said there will definitely be another shuttle trip to the airport. He, along with his team, will meet later this month to create plans for the semester.
“We could expand it vertically by just making more trips to the DFW International Airport,” Madincea said, “or expand horizontally with offering more trips to different airports.”
He also said he looks forward to telling President Livingstone about the shuttle’s positive impact on the Baylor experience.
“When I had the pleasure of meeting with [President Livingstone] last semester, I did let her know about this project, and she was very enthusiastic about it,” Madincea said.
Madincea also said he received several emails from grateful parents who thanked him for helping their students arrive home safely.
“I’m so touched by the support, and it’s such a big blessing,” Madincea said.
The shuttle has received much enthusiasm from the student body as well.
“Just dropping everybody off on Dec. 14 at the airport, people were smiling and it was a great time,” Madincea said.
Saint Paul, Minnesota sophomore Nathaniel Sundeen said he usually asks for rides from friends or local relatives to the airport, but he sees the appeal of the shuttle to other students.
“Many out-of-state students, especially freshmen, may not have a personal vehicle, so the shuttle can be a useful source of transport for students who may need it,” Sundeen said.
He said the shuttle frees students such as himself from the hassle of confusing ride services and hidden fees.
“It is an effective and much needed tool that many students should utilize if the opportunity arises,” Sundeen said.
Madincea said he hopes effective collaboration with the Baylor administration will make the shuttle a permanent project.
“It’s a great way to love our student body and serve them well,” Madincea said, “making sure they get home safely and affordably.”