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The Shuttlecocks, USC: 1980s   19 comments

Posted at 12:20 am in historic

The Shuttlecocks were a fleet of small school-bus type vehicles which circuited the USC campus from the late 1970s until sometime in the 1980s offering foot-weary students a theoretically faster, or at least drier alternative to hoofing it between classes.

Firstly, I have to admire the name. How often do you see such a perfect pun, and executed all the way through? You have to imagine that there was meeting after meeting where some facilities person would say Shuttlecock? That's too frivolous! How about Mass Student Transport Units? and yet the 'Shuttlecock' proponents held firm.

Secondly, I have to say that at least from my point of view, they were mostly useless. I guess I can see that if were parking at the Colosseum, or living in The Wade Hampton or Bates, then they might have been timesavers, but realistically, if you missed one, walking would still be your best option. In any case, living in The Towers, and with my fartherest out classes no farther than Gambrell Hall, I never took one in earnest. I did ride the circuit a few times as something to do, and I think I may have taken one as far as Capstone for a Five Points expedition. They were about what you would expect. The exteriors were not school-bus yellow, but otherwise they were standard cut-down school-buses. I think they would probably hold about 20 people, but I never saw one full.

I'm not sure when the Shuttlecock fleet was retired though I'm pretty sure they did not last into the 90s. I also don't know the reason for their discontinuation. Certainly gas and maintainence had to be expensive so I suspect it was cost. Or maybe the new President didn't like puns.

Written by ted on July 22nd, 2010

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19 Responses to 'The Shuttlecocks, USC: 1980s'

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  1. They ran into the 90s as I used them.
    I have to park in the Coliseum lot but walk up the hill to go to work. I look at it as a chance for exercise. When the semesters are in, the new busses that run from that lot up Greene St are pretty full in the mornings.

    ChiefDanGeorge

    22 Jul 10 at 5:44 am

  2. Although they retired the small buses, the ShuttleCock lives on as the Carolina Shuttle:

    http://www.sc.edu/vmps/shuttle.html

    Mike

    22 Jul 10 at 5:53 am

  3. They still used the short buses until 2001 when I graduated. Rode them everyday.

    Ken

    22 Jul 10 at 6:13 am

  4. @Mike -- interesting! I had no idea that the idea lived on after the original fleet was gone.

    ted

    22 Jul 10 at 10:09 am

  5. Ted:

    You are pretty right about them being pretty useless back in the 1980's. I lived in Bates and they ran so unpredictably, it was more convenient to sleep in and hoof it up that long (and extremely hot in the early Fall/late spring months) concrete elevated walkway.

    Steve

    22 Jul 10 at 10:27 am

  6. And yet USC had/has another retarded stupid name they came up with, was/is the "Cockaboose" at the Stadium..you know, all those converted railroad cars sitting there where people can have parties and get all snonkered up before, during and after the game?... I dont know who came up with that name, but it must be the same dunder heads at USC that came up with ShuttleCock.. someone MUST have an odd "sex obbessesion" to come up with names like that... how odd.

    Del

    22 Jul 10 at 1:41 pm

  7. The Cockabooses were developed by a private party--not USC.

    Mike

    22 Jul 10 at 3:24 pm

  8. As a current USC Student, I can tell you that the Carolina shuttle has filled the role that the Shuttlecocks have...the color coding is surprisingly handy...I've used it a fair amount (but not everyday)

    Andrew

    22 Jul 10 at 3:28 pm

  9. It doesnt matter WHOME named it, or which organization funded it or what ever.. the fact is, IT'S A RETARED NAME.
    It sounds like somethin' that someone from Romper Room or a 5 year old would come up with. Just like when Columbia Mall was renamed to be "hip", fab, gear, groovy, etc... Columbia Place Mall??? How long did it take them to come up with that one? Columbia is SOOOOO stupid.

    Del

    22 Jul 10 at 8:20 pm

  10. Meant to say It's a RETARDED name.. Cockaboose.. please!

    Del

    22 Jul 10 at 8:21 pm

  11. @Del, if Columbia's so stupid..why don't you leave?

    Jason

    23 Jul 10 at 7:04 am

  12. It's a Gamecock Caboose. It really is a reasonable name.
    Say it: Cock Caboose

    On the same note:

    Summer Donna.
    Simmer Donna.
    Simmer Downa.

    Jonathan

    23 Jul 10 at 8:48 am

  13. I have no idea where USC students park nowadays. All of the parking areas that I used in the 70's are now buildings. It was a nightmare trying to get to class on time even then. I'd usually end up about a mile away from class and pray that the shuttle would come around. It usually didn't and I would be late for another class.

    joel

    23 Jul 10 at 6:30 pm

  14. Yeah, it must be grim. They took away the Russell House and library parking lots. Also the dirt lot on Pendelton street where I used to park as a grad student. Also the lot that was by Welsh Humanities Building. And I believe that building itself was a parking lot at one time.

    ted

    23 Jul 10 at 10:07 pm

  15. I've heard they're looking to take the Coluseum parking away for the Darla Moore School of Business...I swear when I think about it I want to ask University officials, "What the ____ are you thinking??"

    There have been plenty of mornings I have had to park at the Coliseum lot (as a current student)...I need to try Bates house when the semester starts back up I'm afraid if push comes to shove...I've even done the meter thing a few mornings as well...but I would testify before the Senate Education Committee (sad to say) that the University of South Carolina does not take parking seriously...

    Andrew

    23 Jul 10 at 10:19 pm

  16. USC has to have some sort of kickback thing going with the COlumbia Parking services. Those meter maids patrol from the Capitol back down to Swearingen like vultures.

    ChiefDanGeorge

    24 Jul 10 at 6:41 am

  17. The City knows where the best places are to add to their parking revenue--around USC, Five Points, downtown and the Vista.

    Mike

    24 Jul 10 at 8:30 am

  18. Yep the Shuttlecock Service ran all the way thru the 90s and into the early 00s. I graduated in 2003.

    Josh

    4 Aug 10 at 7:30 am

  19. I lived in Whaley's Mill for a year and my classes were all over in Gambrell/Humanities or Barnwell; I sometimes rode the Shuttlecock as there was a stop somewhere near Whaley's -- but it sucked if it was cold or rainy because there was no shelter, you were just stuck out in the cold/rain, waiting. It wasn't great, but I wouldn't have made to as many classes as I did without it!

    Allie

    27 Aug 10 at 3:01 pm

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