The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VandyRide shuttle service suspended until further notice as freezing weather conditions continue

The VandyRide shuttle service has been suspended due to mechanical issues compounded by the recent freezing weather conditions.
Alice Tang
A car with its headlights on in a snowy parking lot behind Moore, as photographed on Jan. 14, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Alice Tang)

UPDATE: This piece was updated on Jan. 23, 2024 at 1:13 p.m. CST to include an email sent notifying students that VandyRide shuttles had resumed service on Jan. 22, 2024.

Vanderbilt recently suspended the VandyRide shuttle service following an unexpected mechanical issue compounded by the winter weather, as stated in an email from Student Affairs on Jan. 14. VandyRide shuttles serve as on-campus transportation for students, faculty and staff to reach classrooms, dining halls, dorm rooms and off-campus housing during the hours of 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. CST.

The recent inclement weather and sub-zero temperatures have left students in search of other forms of safe transportation. Student Affairs encouraged students to call VUPD if in need of transportation, but said that the weather may delay response times. For those with medical and accessibility needs, the Mobility Rides service will continue to provide rides using electric golf carts. Joanna Rydberg, a first-year, noted difficulties navigating campus after a recent surgery. 

“For me, the VandyRide Shuttles provide a safer way for me to get across campus,” Rydberg said. “I’m recovering from a knee surgery and slipping is more of a hazard for me. Having the shuttles allows me to travel safely without worrying about re-injuring myself.” 

The new conversion to all-electric shuttles introduced by the Transportation and Mobility Office this year has proven to be a unique challenge with the severe weather, according to Lindsey Ganson, Assistant Director of Mobility. 

“We are aware of the inconvenience and stress the lack of reliable VandyRide service is causing,” Ganson said in an email to The Hustler. “We are working with our fleet management vendor on potential short-term solutions. We are dedicated to restoring service as soon as possible.” 

In the email, she also explained that the recent severe winter weather conditions are what impacted the EV shuttle vehicles to the point of suspension from service. Due to the snow and ice, the vehicles’ range was reduced, causing a traction error warning light to appear. 

“Due to slick roads, we made the decision that it was in the best interest of everyone’s safety to suspend VandyRide service,” Ganson said. 

According to Ganson, it has been difficult to operate the VandyRide service during severe weather because of staffing shortages. If the university’s shuttle drivers are unable to commute to campus, they do not have replacement staff that can fill in, since drivers are classified under a specialized job category and driving license.

An email from Student Affairs was sent to students on Jan. 22 notifying students that VandyRide shuttle service had resumed its normal operations. 

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About the Contributors
Kate Connell
Kate Connell, Opinion Editor
Kate Connell (‘26) is from Seneca, Mo., and studies psychology in the College of Arts and Science on the pre-medical track. She previously served as Managing Editor and Opinion Copy Editor and Podcasts Director. When not working at The Hustler, you can find her getting coffee, relaxing at Centennial Park or stressing in the Stevenson building. She can be reached at [email protected]
Alice Tang
Alice Tang, Staff Photographer
Alice Tang (‘25) is from Columbia, Mo., and is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in environmental and sustainability studies. She enjoys birdwatching and arts and crafts. You can reach her at [email protected].
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