WKU finds new Nashville Airport shuttle provider

Nick Bratcher

WKU launched its partnership with a new shuttle service provider to Nashville International Airport for students, faculty and staff last Wednesday.

InShuttle, a company in Nashville that started as an airport shuttle service for college students, will cost $70 for WKU employees and $50 for students.

Another provider of the same service is Bowling Green Shuttle Service, Inc., which is $85 if scheduled 24 hours in advance.

The $20 student discount offered by Parking and Transportation will come out of its general revenue fund, acquired through permit sales and citation revenue.

Dennis Cain, transportation analyst for Parking and Transportation, said WKU subsidizes the service because it encourages students to reduce their use of personal vehicles.

“We feel it’s more important to serve those who choose to go car-free,” Cain said. “We’re willing to help subsidize a student if they’re willing to get by without a car.

“Most of it has traditionally been international students because most American students typically have cars and would rather give up a leg than their car.”

WKU has attempted to provide the service over the past five years, but previous providers have been less than reliable with service being unavailable for long periods of time, said Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking and Transportation.

“We put the service out to bid again this year because we’ve had some inconsistent service in the past,” Tougas said. “I feel they will raise the level of professionalism of the service that will be provided.”

Tougas said she expects the service to grow even larger in popularity this year after running about 250 transports last year.

But Van Pinnock, InShuttle co-owner and general manager, said it will take time to determine if the service will be profitable.

“We have no idea what the profitability will look like,” he said. “But we’re committed to providing the service and getting it off the ground.”

The service is not yet available on the Parking and Transportation website, but Tougas said students will be able to log into InShuttle’s web site and register for a shuttle using their NetID and password.

“That’ll be the checks and balances that, ‘Yes they are in fact a student,’” she said. “They’ll have validation at that point because we’re only subsidizing student travel.”

That also means Parking and Transportation will be fairly hands-off with InShuttle’s business.

“Because they’ve developed a website for online registration — an online registration process — all the communications go between the student and the vendor,” Tougas said. “They don’t need us as a middle man.”

The shuttle will leave Bowling Green for Nashville at four set times each day and will run from Nashville to Bowling Green six times each day. To use the shuttle, students must schedule at least 24 hours in advance.

Cain said InShuttle has been flexible and reliable with previous users, never leaving an arrival behind at an airport.

“They monitor the flights as they’re coming in,” he said. “If your flight got delayed and you didn’t make it in until 2 o’clock in the morning and you have a reservation, they’ll have someone there to get you no matter what time you get in.

“They’ve never left a person at the airport yet and they don’t plan on starting.”