The Shuttle We Love to Hate


A shuttle struggle.

Winter is coming but the shuttle probably isn’t, and TransLoc can’t help you now. The levels of snow are rising and our levels of patience are falling. Both those hailing from the Quad and Mather, along with those brave fellows in between just trying to visit their friends (or who, more likely, have meetings or section nearby), know the struggle that is the shuttle. Whether you’re always missing it or you’re just really over how close you’ve gotten with your friends who have to practically sit in your laps when you catch the 9:50 shuttle MWF mornings, it’s getting to that point in the year where shuttle complaining peaks.


The Indy wants to help. As Harvard students, you should definitely spend less time complaining about the shuttle schedule or atmosphere, and more time complaining about the problematic opinions section kid can’t stop bringing up, or the fact that HUDS is serving way too many potatoes disguised as other forms of sustenance. Before you become the cause of someone’s passive aggressive Facebook post or make it to someone’s Snapchat story, be sure to read up on these rules of shuttle etiquette.


Rule #1: Angles

If your legs are spread to an angle of nearly 90 degrees, there’s a 90% chance you’re one of the tools in sweat pants carrying around an entire jug of water. The degrees you spread your legs had better match up with the degrees Fahrenheit it is outside. If you spot an inconsiderate person on the shuttle abusing the shuttle’s geometry, be sure to make direct eye-contact for the entire five minute ride in order to establish your superiority as an evolved being. Seriously, people, please just be realistic about the space you need.


Rule #2: Bumper Cars

There’s a special seat for people who are over 6’0 tall who decide to sit down while I struggle to reach, let alone hold onto, the bar above the seats. That seat is in hell and it’s definitely not located on this shuttle. It is inevitable that I will end up straddling one of the guys who didn’t find it at all appropriate to take one for the team and offer me his seat, even after watching the shuttle driver hit every possible bump on Mass Ave/Garden Street. There is also the added perk of being propelled off of those around you like everyone around you is as negatively-charged about the weather as you are.


Rule #3: Saving Seats

Any person who asks you to risk your back pack’s life saving him or her a seat on the shuttle is not a real friend. It makes no sense to save a seat for anyone because the shuttle waits for no man, woman, child, amorphous blob, what have you. It’s not like the rest of us haven’t packed our entire lives into our backpack because we know damn well we won’t be getting back until well after all of our classes for the day. No one makes that trek unprepared, and your professional-level hiking bag is no exception.


Rule #4: Know your route

We’ve all been there: Is this headed to the stadium? Is there any way I’ll make it to Maxwell Dworkin? Why am I at Mather and not the Quad? Take the literal second to check the shuttle’s sign. This has absolutely nothing to do with preventing grievances to anyone but yourself. I’m just looking out for you with this one, because there’s nothing worse than being in a rush to grab your math P-Set from your room in PfoHo quickly before section but ending up at Mather, which has happened to absolutely everyone and definitely not just me.


Rule #5: Timeliness

Be on time for the shuttle. I admit that I’m guilty of being 15 minutes late to lecture but showing up with the straightest eye-liner you’ve ever seen (because the only straight thing about me is my eye-liner). Download multiple shuttle tracker apps because if you’ve learned anything during your time at Harvard, it is that TransLoc cannot be trusted and you have at least a fifteen-minute walk to contemplate how it has done you wrong.


Rule #6: Gratitude

Please thank your shuttle driver. If you think that the giant toddlers taking up more space than they need (or deserve?), just imagine what the shuttle drivers have had to deal with. Take the time to ask the driver about his or her day during the ride. You know you’d rather stay up close so you aren’t trapped in the mass of people who are already definitely late to class once you reach the shuttle stop, anyway.


In the end, we all get where we’re going (except if you didn’t listen to rule #4, in which case you totally deserved it). Be sure to respect others on the shuttle and make the best out of the crowded rides. If anything can bring together solidarity among Harvard students as a whole, you can always count on, “Can you believe the shuttle isn’t here yet?” to really spark up some camaraderie. All aboard the struggle bus, aka the shuttle.




Hunter Richards’18 ( lives in the Quad, and has hence decided to declare her concentration in Shuttle Geometry.