North Texas Daily

UNT shuttles students home for Thanksgiving

UNT shuttles students home for Thanksgiving

UNT shuttles students home for Thanksgiving
November 12
09:11 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

The UNT Parents Programs has partnered up with BreakShuttle, an on-demand transportation company, to offer students rides to Austin, San Antonio or Houston and back during Thanksgiving break.

The shuttles will leave at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, and return in the evening on Sunday, Dec. 1. The routes include two Houston destinations, one on the north side and one on the south side. Seats cost $59 one-way. Seating is limited and can be purchased at BreakShuttle.com.

This is the first time UNT has offered long-distance transportation to its students for holidays.

Parent program coordinator Catherine Olivarez is in charge of putting this event together with BreakShuttle.

“We decided to look at these particular areas because we do see a large number of students call these places home,” she said.

During UNT’s summer send-off parties – dinners held every August for parents of incoming students – those three areas are normally the largest long-distance locations, she said.

Olivarez said they were starting off small with 37 seats going each direction. If more are needed, she said BreakShuttle would make the call on how to provide them.

Founder Matt George started BreakShuttle two years ago. George was going to Middlebury College in Vermont, but his family was 350 miles away in Philadelphia. Middlebury’s student government ran buses, but not to Philadelphia.

“It cost me a few hundred dollars each roundtrip in gas and tolls to get from Middlebury to Philadelphia,” he said. “So I was acutely aware of the cost savings of students who could use an awesome shuttle to get to and from school.”

Marketing director Parvev Pophiawala said BreakShuttle is essentially designed as a carpooling service for universities. Once enough students need service to a location, BreakShuttle organizes a bus route from the university to that city.

Pophiawala said while the company currently works with universities, it is looking to work directly with students as it grows.

Music freshman Leah De Leon said she has already signed up to head home to San Antonio even though she had a poor experience with another company in the past.

“I need to get home,” she said. “I tried Megabus before, and that went crazy.”

Pre-radio, television and film sophomore Adrian Jagush, who is from Lake Jackson 55 miles south of Houston, said although he and his brother have their own car, this is a service the university has needed to offer for a while.

“I feel like the university needs to do more to help students get home,” he said. “Yeah, a lot of us are from North Texas, but many of us travel far to get home, and [it’s not] cheap.”

Graphic by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

Graphic by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

Feature photo: Students get on to a UNT shuttle. Photo courtesy of UNT. 

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