Like some other Northern State University students, Xin Wong doesn't own a car.
"A lot of international students, they need rides to go to the grocery stores, but they can only really call the shuttle," said the 21-year-old sophomore from China.
If she has to walk, Wong doesn't go to farther places such as Wal-Mart because of the distance.
But Northern officials are looking to alleviate the problem by implementing a shuttle service for students.
"We do have a number of students here that don't have cars, so we'll see who wants to take advantage of it," said Brenda Dreyer, director of university relations for Northern. "But it'll be promoted to all students."
Sang Hoon Oh, 25, a student from South Korea, said he probably won't use the shuttle because he has a bike. But he said many international students will.
Many of his friends use the taxi services. There are three shuttle services in town for students:
- Ride Line charges $2 per ride.
- Aberdeen Shuttle and Taxi charges NSU students $54 for a punch card good for 18 rides and also $64 punch card for students and the general public.
- Aberdeen Taxi charges $30 for a book of 15 tickets, with a rate of $3 for the first five blocks and 25 cents every four blocks after.
The shuttle will be free to students, and the university will have only one shuttle, a Dodge Caravan, available when the service begins, she said. Schedules for the student shuttle are still being worked out, but Dreyer said students will decide what businesses the shuttle will go to.
One of the goals is the safety of the students, she said.
"It's not safe to have a bunch of (students) walking all over Aberdeen in the winter," Dreyer said.
While details aren't finalized, the university hopes to have the shuttle available by early November, Dreyer said.
Though the university has two buses on campus for transporting people during school-related events, state law allows the school to use those vehicles just for state business.
Dreyer said shopping trips for students do not qualify as state business.
Wong usually catches a ride with her roommate, who has a car, or her host family to go grocery shopping.
Wong thinks the student shuttle service will be popular at Northern.
"Especially with international students," she said. "They'll love it."
What: NSU is planning to launch a free shuttle service for students.
Why: The university creating the program to help with student safety.
When: The university hopes to have the service launched by early November.