ShuttleHome has just solved all of your holiday travel problems
It delivers in the best way
Despite the fact that Kenyon College is located in the middle of nowhere (Gambier, Ohio, to be exact), I’ve never had a problem accessing transportation. Local shuttles can take me to Mount Vernon, our closest neighboring city. Affordable buses that pick me up on campus can drive me to Columbus or Cleveland, too.
This Thanksgiving break, though, I found myself in a situation that is familiar to many college students: I was strapped for cash and wanted to do something fun. I wanted to go to New York to visit friends and family, and a quick survey around campus told me that booking a trip on the Ohio-based startup, ShuttleHome, would be my best option.
I’m a sucker for small businesses, so I was immediately drawn to ShuttleHome. The company was founded by Oberlin College graduate Dean Ginsberg ’12, who recognized a need on his own campus in rural Ohio for more direct access to larger cities. Due to its success at Oberlin, ShuttleHome has expanded this academic year. In addition to now servicing Kenyon, ShuttleHome is available at College of Wooster, Denison College, Gettysburg College, and the University of Richmond.
Due to his company’s expansion, Ginsberg hired Kenyon students to help market the startup on campus. Bridget Murdoch ’17 serves as Campus Manager and Matt Mandel ’19 works as Campus Brand Manager. Both students spent the majority of this semester promoting ShuttleHome at Kenyon and answering any questions students might have about the company.
This Thanksgiving break, ShuttleHome offered trips to Chicago ($60 one-way, $120 round-trip) and New York City ($90 one-way, $180 round-trip), and the buses left directly from Kenyon’s campus. I’ve traipsed across Pennsylvania and New Jersey on all kinds of buses, and ShuttleHome offered me one of the best holistic experiences I’ve had so far.
Before I delve into why I loved this trip so much, I’ll start with my one complaint. — and it’s not even about ShuttleHome directly. We left Kenyon at 10:15 am, and we were due to arrive in New York City at 7:45 pm. However, due to traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel and general New York streets that were packed bumper to bumper, I didn’t disembark until around 9:30 pm. We were deposited right between 7th and 8th Avenue on 34th Street, though, so I can’t complain too much. Mandel, who was the manager on our bus, said this is a kink ShuttleHome is looking to smooth out in the future.
Besides this minor hiccup, my ride with ShuttleHome was fantastic. The startup, which sports the motto, “Ride home with friends,” delivered its brand message. ShuttleHome rides, to my knowledge, are only available to enrolled students at the college from which the bus is departing. Since Kenyon is very small, I’d at least seen everyone on my charter bus once or twice. The vehicle itself was clean and comfortable, and our drivers and Mandel did a wonderful job keeping us entertained and safe throughout the ride.
Throughout the trip, we were offered complimentary water, bagels, chips, and granola bars. We also had a selection of movies to choose from throughout the ride. We had two thirty-minute breaks and one fifteen-minute break, and these pauses happened every two and a half hours or so. As someone who has grown accustomed to resigning myself to using the restroom at the back of the charter bus, I was pleased to see that ShuttleHome offered us so many opportunities to get out and stretch our legs.
ShuttleHome will be offering rides to Chicago and New York from Kenyon’s campus for both winter and spring breaks this academic year. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride and recommend that students hoping to reach either of those cities consider booking a trip with ShuttleHome.
Photo credit: Matt Mandel