Over 885 AU faculty, alumni and students braved a confusing two hour commute to Six Flags America in Prince George’s County, Md., on Saturday after a ticket promotion offered by Student Activities.
Shuttle rides to the park were available through reservation by emailing Andrew Toczydlowski, a program adviser for Student Activities, but some students did not know that AU was providing busing to Six Flags and made their own travel arrangements.
“We ended up taking the Metro and then a taxi, which took us two hours both ways,” said Zach Smith, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. “It was a downer.”
Smith and other students ran into further problems when they tried to arrange transportation back to AU.
The shuttles were run through U.S. Coachways, each of which had a capacity of 56 people. Throughout the course of the day, six of shuttles available were filled to capacity. Two other shuttles, the 2:30 and 4:30, were not filled to capacity.
“We couldn’t find a shuttle on the way back,” said Peter Gill, a sophomore in the School of International Service. “The [local] buses had stopped running to that section of town, so we had to wait for a taxi and then take the Metro. It took forever.”
Difficulties students had with transportation to Six Flags this weekend resulted from the Tea Party rally occurring on the National Mall that day, according to Toczydlowksi. Toczydlowski acknowledged they did not plan for the consequences of the rally.
“It had a domino effect where that delayed our first shuttle because of traffic and road closures, and that in turn delayed all shuttles that we had for the rest of the day,” Toczydlowski said.
This was the first year SA has provided this opportunity to the AU community.
“[Six Flags] approached us to see if we would be interested in doing some event,” he said. “We decided to buy a bunch of tickets and sell them at reduced prices for students to have fun at the park.”
The amusement park proved to be as entertaining as promised. Both Smith and Gill expressed their excitement over their favorite ride of the day, the Superman rollercoaster.
“It was a lot of fun and I am definitely going to go back sometime,” said Gill.