A new transportation option will be available to 11 colleges in Ohio starting Spring Semester, and one of those colleges is Ohio University.
Inter-College Bus Company is a startup company run by two current college students, Chanse Gvist and Sam Sheronovich, who plan to begin their services Jan. 18.
Gvist, a student studying at the University of Akron, decided to start this new bus system based on a problem he had experienced himself while traveling.
At the time, he attended Kent State University and knew a girl who was attending Cleveland State University. He was tired of traveling back and forth between the two schools.
“There was a city bus system that she could take and it only ran once or twice a day,” he said. “It really wasn’t the safest method and it was very noisy and loud (on the bus).”
He decided that if he felt this way, there had to be more people who were having the same problem too, he said.
The colleges that this bus system will connect to include Ohio University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron, Ohio State University, University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, University of Dayton, Miami University, University of Cincinnati and Marietta College.
According to Gvist, ticket prices are the same no matter what campus you’re traveling to. The ticket costs $20 each way.
“You can go from OU, for example, all the way up to Toledo, and it’ll still be $20,” he said.
When it comes to bringing luggage along onto the bus, students can bring a backpack and one personal carry-on item like a purse or laptop bag. One large suitcase per passenger may be stored underneath the bus, but it costs an additional $10 to bring additional luggage, Gvist said.
“We want to make sure that everybody has luggage space,” he said.
At the beginning of the semester, Gvist said the bus system will operate four days a week, Thursday through Sunday and will run on all holidays.
On the other hand, GoBus operates seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The company will have five buses, but as it continues to grow, Gvist and Sheronovich plan on doubling that in order to run more efficiently, he said. They also plan to offer special “destination trips” to students throughout the school year.
“For example, we were talking about the idea of maybe, like, sending one of our buses down to Panama City for spring break once a week for the weeks that Ohio is on their break,” Gvist said.
For the fall, they will also be paying attention to football schedules between the schools to see which colleges are playing each other and adding more buses to those routes, he said.
Julianna Hamon, a senior studying exercise physiology, said the new service sounds appealing to her.
“It sounds pretty cheap,” she said. “I wish I wasn’t leaving this semester or else I would use it.”
Abbie Zehentbauer, a sophomore studying English, said although it is a cool idea, she has a car on campus, so she probably would not use the service that much.
“I can see it being nice going from college to college — it would save gas money,” she said.
While the company is focusing on college students, its services are open to everyone.
“The more cities we add (to our routes), the more it becomes like another transportation company, which isn’t a bad thing,” he said. “But we are trying to focus more on the college students to provide the highest level of service to them first.”
The company’s Facebook page has been receiving a lot of feedback and praise recently, according to Gvist.
“We had one lady who commented specifically that she is disabled and can’t drive that long to see her student,” he said. “She was so thankful that we are providing this service because then she could sit comfortably on a bus and make it out to see her student at the university without having to drive.”
The environmental factor that comes along with buses is a positive aspect too, he said.
“Each bus seats 56 passengers, that’s the potential of 56 cars that aren’t on the road,” Gvist said. “Especially going into some of these major cities, that can be a big deal.”
Gvist said that when traveling with Inter-College Bus Company, if a passenger must transfer to a different bus, they will transfer to another of the company's buses.
“There is no transferring to other carriers or companies,” he said. “We can guarantee the same sense of security and safety across the board.”