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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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