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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

PATEL: The Eagle Express needs major updates

Graphic by Erin Schneider

Recently, Marquette changed the LIMO service to the EagleExpress. This new service is very similar to ridesharing apps such as Uber or Lyft. Students can request a ride and wait for the car to pick them up. 

While this method was supposed to be much more convenient, it hasn’t been working, and I’m sure others can relate. Marquette definitely had good intentions when they upgraded the old service, but they didn’t have to get rid of it entirely. 

The one thing that I noticed was how inaccurate the wait times would be. It would keep adding minutes and the wait would end up being much longer than it should be.

The quick availability of a ride is dependent on what is happening around campus on a given night. However, I certainly wasn’t expecting the wait times to be around 40-50 minutes, even for a weeknight. It just seems frustrating if you have to wait longer after staying up late at a library or a friend’s place to study, finish a big assignment, or even hang out. 

Marquette needs to either enlist more drivers or resort back to their old way of operating the LIMOs to ensure that students are getting picked up on time.

Additionally, the app has reported to glitch several times. It would give inaccurate times of when the van would be outside and it would show up as “en route.”

The vans are also instructed to not pick up students who flag them down. This can be a safety concern for many as well.  Crimes have actually been decreasing on campus, as there is a 46% decrease in robberies and a 26% decrease in motor vehicle thefts. However, students can still find themselves in the way of a potential robbery, assault, or even bad weather. 

Additionally, in times of an emergency when someone doesn’t have access to a phone or time to book a ride, students should not be turned away. 

The old LIMO service proved to be better through phone calls and regular stopping at the dorms and important buildings on campus. It would frequently be around campus giving students the assurance that they were safe.

To improve this situation, Marquette needs to bring some aspects back of the old LIMO service while keeping the new improvements. This can include ride tracking information and booking rides through an app. But additionally, it should allow drivers to regularly stop at certain parts of campus such as the residence halls and buildings.  

Additionally, they need to have a regular van driving down big streets such as Wisconsin, Kilbourn, Michigan and State Street. Like the MCTS, this can take students to where they want to go on campus as they can step on and off without booking a set ride. 

To further encourage more drivers and dispatchers for the limo service, the university can change the hours and current pay. As of now, the  EagleExpress service offers two shifts, one from 5-10 p.m. and the other from 10-3 a.m. They can break the shifts up into three hour shifts. Additionally, they can increase the pay and offer more incentives such as tuition reimbursement, decreased tuition, room/board and meal plans. 

Overall, Marquette has a great concept for this new and improved LIMO service, however, it’s not pulling through quite enough. By combining their old service with the new ideas, it can prove to be a better service for students to use. 

As of now the goal is safety and not to mimic common rideshare services. To truly attract prospective students to Marquette and make current students feel safe, the  LIMO service needs to have major changes done. 

This story was written by Krisha Patel. She can be reached at [email protected]

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