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The Daily Tar Heel

Public Safety Unveils Improved P2P Shuttles

Derek Poarch, director of public safety, said the new shuttles, which will replace the older models, hold 30 people sitting and have enough room for another 30 people to stand comfortably.

Poarch said the new buses are specifically designed for running P2P routes, unlike the older buses, which were intended to be parking lot shuttles. "The buses are heavy duty and are designed to carry a larger group of people," he said.

And Poarch said the new buses will solve all the accessibility problems with the older models. "We think they will work well for the University," he said.

Poarch said funding for the buses was provided by an increase in student fees this year. The increase was voted on and approved by students last year.

Student Body President Brad Matthews said he feels the P2P system is a valuable service to students and was in need of an update.

"It's a great mode of transportation for a bunch of students, and we have to continue to maintain it so it can serve its purpose," he said.

"The old ones are falling apart."

Students said they enjoyed the social atmosphere of the P2P despite the older models' cramped seating.

"I didn't have too many problems with the old ones," freshman Heeral Patel said. "It's just that they were old."

Some students also said they can now look forward to a larger arena for their late-night transit adventures.

Sophomore Dana Call said rides on the P2P provided her an opportunity to meet new people and catch up with friends, but limited amounts of space hindered her travel.

"Hopefully these new buses will solve the problem," she said.

But a few students said they will treasure their experiences with the shuttles that have been put to rest.

Senior Wayne Cottrell acknowledged that overcrowding was an issue even when he was a freshman.

"But it was entertaining," he said. "I've seen everything from fights breaking out to people puking on it."

Sophomore Megan O'Neill, who frequented the P2P as a freshman, also called her P2P experiences "entertaining."

Many of O'Neill's P2P rides were complete with vocal entertainment.

"You don't see a better group of drunk students willing to get together to sing ... It usually comes down to 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.'"

Ann Hau contributed to this article.

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