Shuttle service remains underused despite crime spike

Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer

The Tulane shuttle system is available to students, staff and faculty. (Colin Yaccarino )

Crime in New Orleans has spiked dramatically in recent years, but how students get around New Orleans has stayed the same. 

WDSU News analysts described 2022 crime data as “horrific,” noting that crime incidents rose 35% from the preceding year. So far, 2023 follows that violent crime trend —  Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed an executive order in late January to establish a Violence Reduction Task Force in response to this spike impacting New Orleans and “major cities across the country.” 

“So far, 2023 has already been met with a significant increase in violent crime, and now with the proper resources at our disposal, I cannot think of a better moment to establish this task force,” Cantrell said. 

Pickpocketing and theft often occur on public transportation, where crowds of tourists become easy targets. 

Students without means of personal transportation are left with two choices: pay for Uber and Lyft or use public transportation services. 

Many students, like freshman Estefania Cardona, say they are mostly confined to Tulane University’s Uptown campus.

“Usually, I bike around to get to places near campus like Magazine Street, but if I have to get to other places, which I try not to do, I take Ubers,” Cardona said. “I take the streetcar occasionally, but it takes forever. It isn’t reliable at all.”

Cardona said she had not heard of Tulane’s Shuttles and Transportation system. 

“I didn’t know about the service,” Cardona said. “The most known shuttle services are during Mardi Gras and airport service.”

Tulane shuttles are free to use during Mardi Gras or to the airport but operate virtually all year, providing transportation to and from the Tulane-Gravier campus. The shuttle service has three major routes: the Commons Green Line, Diboll Green Line and Weekend Red Line, as well as an on-demand service, TapRide. The Diboll Green line at its furthest intersects Canal Street, near Simon Bolivar Plaza. 

Director of Transportation Brian Lowe said the service “provides students, faculty, and staff free, safe, and reliable transportation to, from, and around our campuses, as well as to and from grocery stores and pharmacies within a defined geographic area.”

Cardona used the shuttles once, during Mardi Gras this year. “[As] a woman, I felt safer. Everyone was from Tulane, and the driver was nice. It was really accessible,” Cardona said.

Shuttles and on-demand services operate seven days a week, 16 hours a day on weekdays and 12 hours on weekends.

Leave a Comment