By Alexi VelasquezSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
From Open House to Welcome Week, visitors and students are constantly reminded of Hofstra’s close proximity to New York City. Hofstra currently offers the Blue Beetle, a free hourly shuttle to Mineola and Hempstead train stations, but now students are provided with another option – the 7Bus, a luxury bus service to New York City.
Karla Schuster, assistant vice president of University Relations said that Hofstra decided to pursue this service because she feels that the University is always interested in new options to help students take advantage of it’s great location, being only 25 miles from Manhattan.
“We have so many students in communications and business who do internships, and even though we have the Blue Beetle, and even though students drive, I think that anytime we can provide more ways for our students to take advantage of all the opportunities in New York City, it makes sense for us to look into them,” Schuster said.
The 7Bus provides commuter and charter bus service all over Long Island and provides a similar service at Stony Brook University. The service is now available to all Hofstra students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community.
It makes one morning and one evening run each day, Monday through Friday, and picks up and drops off on North Campus and South Campus. On North Campus, the bus stops on Oak Street in front of the Netherlands, and on the North East corner of Huntington Place and California Ave. on South Campus.
The 7Bus service is not affiliated with Hofstra University. Thus, the company controls the amount of runs made and the possible institution of a commuter pass based on the market, according to Schuster. Students can make reservations ahead of time online at 7bus.com. The service makes stops in Queens and Manhattan. Reservations made online vary from $7 to $11 each way, depending on the day and demand. Walk-on fare is $15, according to a Hofstra press release.
Molly Holtzinger, a senior video, television and film major, tested out the 7Bus service for the first time this past week. Her first impression of the bus was positive, as the seats were leather, had footrests and a stainless steel cup holder on the back of each seat. In addition, there are televisions on board, and the back of each seat has a channel and volume keypad with a headphone jack for a personal experience. There are also newspapers and magazines on board for those who wish to read.
“I’m loving this bus, and if I could live on it, I would,” Holtzinger said.
Erica Mann, a senior film production major said that she would not use the 7Bus if she was in a real rush to the city, because traffic and other stops must also be taken into consideration. Nonetheless, she felt that her experience on the 7Bus was positive, and she took advantage of the bus’s amenities.
“The seats were comfy and it was really relaxing. I plugged in my laptop and watched Netflix using the bus’s Wi-Fi,” Mann said.
On the other hand, junior marketing and management major Nitigna Bhatt has not taken the 7Bus because while she feels that the service is a good idea, it is unnecessary for Hofstra students.
“The bus risks being stuck in traffic, making you late to your destination, so it’s just not convenient. Plus, you can pay $16 for a round trip ticket to Penn Station, which is in the center of everything, and the ride isn’t even that long,” Bhatt said.