Vern Express switches to smaller vans during late-night hours

Media Credit: Katie Causey | Photo Editor
Between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., a smaller shuttle will be used to transport students between the Mount Vernon and Foggy Bottom campuses.

Students heading back to the Mount Vernon Campus late at night may find that their ride is on the smaller side.

GW has downsized the vehicles used to shuttle students between the Vern and the Foggy Bottom Campus for four hours during the early morning. Students looking for a ride between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. will take a smaller eight-seat van instead of the larger shuttle buses GW usually uses for transportation between campuses.

University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said that, based on a review of the number of students who ride the Vern Express, the University chose to use vehicles that are already in GW’s “campus fleet” during those early hours.

Hiatt said no changes to the Vern Express schedules will be made and that the normal buses and drivers provided by the International Limousine Service will continue to work the other 20 hours of the day.

The vans, which are driven by University employees during the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., are the same vans used for GW’s 4-RIDE service, but have removable magnetic stickers that say “The Vern Express” across the door of the vehicle.

Cierra Jones, a graduate student who lives on the Vern, said she’s taken the van once as part of a trip to the airport.

“It wasn’t really a problem,” Jones said. “There were just enough seats.”

In 2010, GW added four Vern Express buses for weekday trips after the number of students living on the the Vern jumped by 40 percent following the opening of West Hall.

Natalie Smith, a freshman who also lives on the Vern, said that on weekends, she’s had to wait 30 to 40 minutes to ride a large Vern Express bus because of large crowds.

“Usually it’s fine, but I think people are still going into the city just as much on the weekends,” she said.

Andrew Gousward contributed reporting.

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