Auburn University’s door-to-door golf cart service for students, faculty and staff with disabilities or medical conditions, otherwise known as “jAUnt,” will gain two golf carts for its fleet in fall 2022.
The addition will bring the golf cart fleet to a total of eight standard golf carts and one wheelchair-accessible golf cart.
The golf cart service was launched in fall 2011 with the goal of providing accessible transportation across Auburn's campus to students, faculty and staff with any disability or medical condition that may make traveling difficult.
At the time of its founding, jAUnt’s fleet consisted of three standard golf carts, one wheelchair-accessible golf cart and less than 10 drivers.
According to Christi Burnley, office supervisor for Auburn University Transportation Services, jAUnt faced many challenges in its first few years of service, including old golf carts that broke down often.
“We jokingly referred to them as being on their last wheel. We had situations in which a driver couldn’t even get out of the parking deck with the cart because the charge wouldn’t hold,” Burnley said.
In 2019, Auburn University Transportation Services took over jAUnt and replaced the golf cart fleet in its entirety.
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“It took some time to get them in, but once we were able to, it was great,” Burnley said.
Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, jAUnt transported 4,522 passengers, a number Burnley said is managed by strategic scheduling.
“We do all of our scheduling logistically, so we are looking at where people are going. With our campus map we figure out if there is somebody else that we can get picked up who has an appointment at that same time,” Burnley said.
Beth Weathers, junior in biomedical sciences, used jAUnt at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester while recovering from a concussion.
Weathers said although the people she encountered through jAUnt were very kind, she experienced challenges during her two months using the service such as rides running late and making unscheduled stops.
“JAUnt was great whenever it was preplanned, but there just weren’t enough people or golf carts to really be efficient if anything unexpected happened,” Weathers said.
Weathers also said she wishes jAUnt would continue to grow and gain more golf carts and drivers in order to help more people navigate campus with ease.
In order to get approved for jAUnt golf cart rides, students, faculty and staff must go through a series of steps which include providing qualifying medical documentation to the Office of Accessibility as well as filling out scheduling paperwork provided by jAUnt.
Students, faculty and staff interested in jAUnt are encouraged to get more information by visiting their website.
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