Viewpoint: TCC should reevaluate its methods of transportation

photo editor

TCC needs better regulated public transportation between its campuses, and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

As a student who bounces between two campuses in opposite directions from each other on an almost daily basis, does not have access to a car nor the funds to constantly take $30 Lyfts, I’ve seen first-hand how bad it can be. My safety has come into question at times, and I don’t want this to happen to others. A districtwide transportation system needs to be put in place.

Currently, TCC offers buses between certain campuses, but they don’t connect. I travel between SE and NE, normally a max 40-minute drive with heavy traffic on 183, but through the public transportation options available, I have a two-hour buffer between classes. The route includes a Via, — a rideshare service in Arlington — train stops and bus stations.

Buses stop at South Campus to pick up and drop off students going to class. NE and SE will soon have bus service as well.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

At these train stops and bus stations, I don’t feel safe. I’ve seen three police cars all roll up on a man I had walked by not 15 minutes before. I’ve been stared at, and have almost gotten heat-stroke from staying in 98-degree weather for 45 minutes because that was my only option. On the same day, I saw not only a man threatening a woman with racial slurs and damning her and her children to hell while she cowered around a bench, but also a man on the phone relieving himself into a trashcan on the train before walking off, continuing his conversation. 

In both instances, there was an authority figure, but they did nothing to remedy the situation from what I saw. A passive police officer called back to the prowling man at the train station. A train worker just casually asked the man what happened at the trashcan. Nothing was actually done from my purview.

Why would I have to witness these incredibly jarring and, in the case of the station, dangerous situations if instead, I could take a TCC shuttle straight from SE to NE? What would’ve happened if instead of me being white, I was Black and was the one being threatened? What if that police officer wasn’t there to deter any confrontation? These are the questions that have plagued and distracted me from my schoolwork. That man screaming at the sky about how his God mandated that terrible behavior has stuck in my mind, and I am afraid for my safety. I’m afraid for the safety of others who may not know how to protect themselves and, most of all, I’m disappointed.

Any student considering taking classes at other campuses but doesn’t have a stable private transportation option, I warn you. Please be careful because you never know when the cop won’t be there to stop a hateful man’s misguided aggression.