USG looks to implement free LAX shuttle

first_imgUndergraduate Student Government, in partnership with USC Transportation, has recently implemented a temporary program that will provide free shuttles for students to Los Angeles International Airport before spring break.The shuttle will run three times a day on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 from the University Park campus to LAX. According to Michelle Garcia, associate director of transit, the shuttles will operate at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on both days.The idea for this program was conceived within USG, but required collaboration with USC Transportation to formulate the actual plan. USG Director of University Affairs Jordan Fowler said that the planning to implement an LAX shuttle began last semester.“We brought up the idea to [USC] Transportation towards the middle of last semester and they were pretty receptive,” Fowler said. “We thought this idea was pretty lofty, we weren’t sure how it would be received and we weren’t sure what kind of model they would be open to. In the end, they were so responsive and so welcoming to this idea and we were just thrilled.”Garcia explained that USG and USC Transportation got creative when it came to using the available resources.“Other people within USG have brought this idea up in the past. One of the challenges for us is that we just haven’t been financially able to support it,” Garcia said. “I explained to Jordan that we can offer certain shuttles at certain times that will fit into our schedule. That way ended up working for everyone.”Fowler credited USC Transportation with being extremely cooperative and taking the initiative to make the service completely free to students.“The shuttle is fully funded by the Department of Transportation. It is a completely free service to students,” Fowler said. “One of our survey questions was, ‘What is the maximum amount you would pay for a shuttle?’ and all of a sudden the department was willing to do it for free. My assistant director’s and my jaws dropped, we were so excited. That’s a testament to their department, they don’t get enough credit; they totally get it and they are fantastic people.”Students are equally thrilled to see the implementation of a program that is applicable. For many students, free transportation to LAX has been a long-awaited service.“It will be really nice to not have to spend $20 or $30 with Uber or something to get to the airport,” said Mackenzie Erdman, an undecided freshman. “Students will get a lot of use out of this.”When Fowler and her team began working to make the shuttle to LAX a possibility, they created a survey to test how important the project was to students like Erdman.Overwhelming support helped initiate a conversation with USC Transportation.“We decided that a survey would be most effective because we needed the support and feedback of a lot of the USC community,” Fowler said. “My team was really instrumental in making that survey a success: we actually got 409 responses. That was part of the reason that the Department of Transportation was so open to the idea.”If the shuttle service runs smoothly during spring break, USG hopes to extend the service during more breaks.“If it is successful then I hope we can work with transportation to expand the program,” Fowler said. “The resources are there; we just have to deal with the sign-ups.”According to Garcia, however, the increased implementation of free shuttles to LAX in the future depends upon planning.“Ideally, we would love to offer more days and shuttles for other breaks,” Garcia said. “But at this time, it’s a little fuzzy if we are going to be able to do that.”last_img read more

Syracuse survives terrible defensive third quarter in 55-42 win

first_imgEskridge burst down the sideline for 21 yards and a touchdown. In 40 seconds, with less than a minute gone in the third quarter, the Broncos had gotten one score back.After the game, when asked about the third quarter, SU head coach Dino Babers started to say he was frustrated, then paused.“I’m not going to say the word ‘frustrated.’ I was disappointed,” he said. “Because we talked about this at halftime: what we needed to do to put the game away. We went out and did the exact opposite in the game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter smothering the Broncos for the better part of 30 minutes, Syracuse’s defense allowed 336 yards and 28 points in the third quarter. Save for a four-play drive that ended in a punt, the four Broncos’ possessions yielding touchdowns took, altogether, 3:26 and 12 plays. Complacency, a loss of control and an absent pass rush kept the door open wide enough for Western Michigan to elbow its way back into a would-be blowout.But after almost bleeding a 27-point lead to nothing, Syracuse (1-0) restored authority over the contest, outlasting Western Michigan (0-1), 55-42, at Waldo Stadium on Friday night.“Defense or offense,” defensive lineman Kendall Coleman said, “it only takes a couple of plays to get the ball rolling.”After an SU 3-and-out and trading punts, Western Michigan started a drive pinned at its 5-yard line. Two plays and 11 yards later, the Broncos lined up from their own 16. With two receivers out left, a wingback, tailback and a receiver wide right, Wassink took the snap and dropped back. He took one step and heaved a pass 45 yards down the field. Syracuse defensive backs Scoop Bradshaw and Andre Cisco sprinted to the landing spot, poised to intercept the pass when Eskridge glided between the two, hauled in the pass and dashed into the end zone.Western Michigan’s two ensuing drives followed a similar pattern: Chunk plays getting the Broncos into the end zone. Fewer than nine minutes into the quarter, Syracuse’s lead had shrunk to six.“They kept on throwing it ‘deep-deep,’” safety Evan Foster said. “My first thoughts were, ‘They’re about to run the deep post behind me.”Wassink and Eskridge’s flourishing connection stemmed from SU’s lack of a pass rush, defensive end Kendall Coleman said. The Orange’s pass rushers simply didn’t win one-on-one matchups, Coleman said. And though it didn’t matter much in the first half, giving Wassink the time to stand in the pocket and steadily dissect the defense, Coleman said, set the Broncos up for key halftime adjustments.  “They came out running different plays,” Coleman said, “and we weren’t quite ready to adjust to it.”Cornerback Scoop Bradshaw, whose main assignment was covering Eskridge, said the scout on the receiver — and running back LeVante Bellamy, who gashed the Orange repeatedly — centered around game-breaking speed. In response, Bradshaw played soft coverage. On a play when Bradshaw left more than 10 yards of cushion, Eskridge simply ran away from him for a 59-yard completion.Bradshaw was also expecting more safety help over the top, mainly from freshman Andre Cisco. But Cisco was often out of position or beat by Eskridge’s speed himself.Further, Coleman said, there was a general lack of urgency and focus from the Orange during halftime. Safety Evan Foster went further, saying during the week he wasn’t as focused as he should’ve been and there was a certain sense of security.“We weren’t really mentally prepared,” Foster said. “(We weren’t) mentally in the game, really.”As the game unraveled before them, the defense knew it was, to some degree, letting it happen, Coleman said. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey came back in, and SU started trading touchdowns with WMU.The defense wanted to make its play, and to seize back the control it had in the first half.On the first play of the fourth quarter, Wassink rolled right and looked downfield. He didn’t see the hit coming, nor did he see Kielan Whitner standing right where he threw the ball. A 20-yard interception return and a 27-yard touchdown scamper from Dungey later, and Syracuse had survived its woeful third quarter. KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It only took two plays for Western Michigan to get the spark of life it needed out of halftime. After a Ravian Pierce fumble on the first play from the scrimmage gifted the Broncos possession at midfield, the offense that finished the first half with as many first downs as interceptions — one — went on the attack. Standing in the shotgun at his own 42, WMU quarterback Jon Wassink dropped back and delivered a 37-yard strike to Jayden Reed. The next play, Wassink dropped back again. This time, he instantly looked left and linked up with his favorite target: D’Wayne Eskridge. Comments Published on September 1, 2018 at 12:55 am Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more