Downtown parking pains students
Students with internships in New York City that need to catch early morning trains into Manhattan are facing problems gettering to the station. Lack of parking and early morning SHUfly service makes student travel to the train station problematic.
Seton Hall students are often encouraged and many are even required to have internships. With the Univerisity’s close proximity to New York City and South Orange’s direct New Jersey Transit train line into Manhattan, students often find themselves interning in the city.
One such student is junior, Mel Watson. As a Broadcasting and Visual Media major, she was strongly encouraged to find an internship. She now works at Fox News Channel in Manhattan, where she works a 9 to 5 shift.
“My commute to and from the South Orange train station is honestly the most worrisome part of my day,” said Watson.
Watson cites the lack of SHUFLY, the Seton Hall run shuttle service to and from various parts of town, as one of the main problems. The earliest SHUFLY picks students up at 7:43 a.m. on campus Monday through Friday and does not get to the train station until 7:55 a.m. Watson said because she takes the 7:34 a.m. train into Penn Station in Manhattan, the SHUFLY cannot get her there on time for the morning commute.
“When SHUFLY initially started we asked everyone in the Seton Hall community what their needs were, the times they would like to see the service run and where they would need to go,” Ann Szipszky, Parking Services Manager, said. “We put the schedule together so that the needs of the majority of the students were met.”
According to Szipszky, Parking Services and the SHUFLY, are always open to change if the needs of students are not being well met.
“We are currently running a survey to see what the community feedback on SHUFLY is and to see how we are doing in servicing the needs of the Seton Hall population. Things have changed since SHUFLY first started and this will give us a good idea of how we are doing,” she said.
The survey was sent to all students through their Seton Hall e-mail accounts. If they choose to participate, they can provide insight into what times the SHUFLY is needed. This could be earlier, as in the case of students commuting to New York City, or at any other various times or locations.
The lack of an early enough SHUFLY is not the only problem commuting students face. Though students with internships approved by the Career Center permitted an on-campus parking pass, there seems to be an issue with parking in South Orange near the train station.
“I checked online to see how much train station parking permits cost and there is a waiting list for those that want to purchase commuter permits,” Watson said. “I can’t park my car on South Orange Avenue because you can’t park there until 8 a.m.”
According to Watson, the parking spaces allotted in South Orange in which commuters pay daily are always taken. She says that if parking passes were available she would not hesitate to purchase one.
“I hope the Village realizes this established university is not leaving any time soon… the ball is in South Orange’s court,” Watson said.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.