With most students having incredibly full schedules with hectic and stressful days, it is not unusual that many barely have time to sit down for a meal.
Recently, UCLA Dining decided to test- run a trolley that would take students from De Neve turnaround to Hedrick Dining Hall, eliminating a 10-minute walk as well as helping alleviate congestion in De Neve.
Not even a week into its trial service, the trolley has already received a vast amount of criticism and backlash from students, many of whom have not given it a fair chance.
While many may not see the point in shuttling students such a short distance, the reality is that the trolley is not harming anyone. Its benefits outweigh its little to no costs.
The trolley was not bought specifically for this service; it was acquired beforehand by UCLA Transportation. According to Sherry Lewis, director of UCLA Fleet and Transit, the trolley and another one are on loan from UC Riverside at no cost to the university.
Previously, the trolleys were being used in departmental matters, such as moving people from one location to another. The loss of one trolley for such a short period of time has not impacted its other uses, Lewis said.
No extra money was spent out of UCLA’s pocket in order to provide the service besides the cost of the driver and gas.
This cost, minimal at most, would not be a strain that affected such large extremities as club budgets or student tuition.
The trolley also gives students time to relax after long, jam-packed days of class and studying. Even with a wait time of 10 minutes, eliminating the need to walk gives students a much-deserved break that they would have spent walking up the Hill.
While walking may be healthier, most students carry large loads within their backpacks that often lead to back cramps and unnecessary exhaustion. Students, having already walked to and from class for a lot of the day, should have the option of using the time it would take to walk up the Hill to rest rather than making the trek.
It is not necessarily that students are unwilling or too lazy to walk up the Hill; it’s more that they are just too tired or too busy to do so.
The trolley also gives students a change of scenery. Many students choose De Neve because it is convenient. Students should not be discouraged from going to Hedrick Dining Hall simply because it is far. The trolley allows students to experience more of the Hill’s eating options without having to make the walk up, which many do not have time or energy for.
Aesthetically speaking, the trolley is a sight to behold. It adds to the uniqueness of the Hill community’s culture, giving UCLA’s undergrad dorms an icon different from other universities.
There are students who agree that the trolley is a good idea. Margo Winchester, a first-year chemistry student, said that while Hedrick isn’t too crowded, De Neve is congested simply because of its convenience. The trolley would be a great addition if people actually used it, she said.
The trolley will hopefully relieve some of this congestion. Not only would students have more eating options, they would also have more space and time to eat in. Rather than feeling rushed by or annoyed with long lines, students might be able to enjoy their dining experience more completely.
If students don’t want to use the trolley, then it isn’t necessary. But before being too quick to judge, administration and students alike should give the trolley and its benefits a chance.