from the Wesleyan Photo Tumblr
The below has been edited and republished with the permission of the writer, Mika Reyes ’17. The original can be found on Medium here.
Imagine you, a Wesleyan student, are staying late at a friend’s place after losing track of time. Then you realize: oh no, there’s no space for you to stay in this room–you can hardly see the floor with all this dirty laundry around, plus there are already 5 other people sleeping over. But, shucks, you live all the way on the opposite corner of campus. It’s 2AM on a cold, wintry night and you don’t want to encounter scary people, the dreadful cold, and possible snow monsters that may come out. Who do you call? The Ride!
The Ride is Wesleyan’s 7PM–3AM campus night shuttle. It is a life saver, especially during dead, freezing, lonely winter nights (AKA the majority of the school year).
This year, I live in Lighthouse, past Freeman, and basically one of the farthest corners of campus. Only consolation is that the community is great (and that I live close to the gym, I guess). I’ve been taking The Ride every night to bring me home and I imagine I will be doing this for the rest of the semester. The Ride drivers and I will all be close buds by the end of it.
Recently, however, they changed the way they handled commutes. Instead of students being able to call in for their services, like a taxi cab, it instead follows a predetermined route, like a bus stop. Last night, I took it, but noticed other things didn’t change along with the change in this system. An important design lesson: systems are intertwined and changing one part of a system ripples through other parts. I wanted to evaluate some problems (outlined below in 3-ish major categories) and imply quick recommendations on design solutions.