‘Convenience store on wheels’ rolls onto Metroplex


It’s like a cafeteria on wheels — a lot of wheels — at the Wichita State Metropolitan Complex.

A shuttle bus converted into a convenience store opened last week and serves drinks and snacks at the 29th and Oliver streets parking lot. Contrary to what some students and faculty thought the bus does, the bus does not provide transportation to the main campus.

The shuttle stays at the Metropolitan Complex and provides snacks and drinks mainly for the people waiting on the shuttle bus. It parks by the bus stop and runs Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. when classes are in session.

The bus held a contest to name the store that ended on Friday. Students had to email name ideas to the charter bus email, and the winner will receive free drinks for the month of October.

The convenience store shuttle bus compares to competitors such as QuikTrip and Kwik Shop. But just how close do the three compare? How convenient is the bus really going to be for students?

The bus offers eight types of coffee, 18 types of cappuccino, Daylight Donuts, Coca-Cola products, four smoothie/frozen drink options, hot dogs and sausage rolls, energy drinks, tea, water, chips, candy, mints and gum.

Many places focus on college students and the growing market of coffee products, which is exactly what the new convenience store shuttle bus did. All together, the store offers 26 different forms of coffee and sells it for $1 for a small, $1.25 for a 16 ounce and $1.45 for a 20 ounce cup. The store’s variety of coffee is one thing that compares closely to the competitors.

Kwik Shop offers 16 different types of coffee plus multiple flavor add-ins. They sell a 16-ounce drink for $1.19, 20 ounce for $1.39, and a 24-ounce for $1.59.

QuikTrip tops the other two with approximately 30 different coffee options. A 16-ounce costs $1.29, the 20-ounce is $1.49, and the 24-ounce is $1.69.

The three stores offers frozen drinks as well, but the shuttle bus store falls short in variety to the other competitors. The bus offers four smoothie/frozen drink options, which is the same amount as Kwik Shop, but both fall to QuikTrip’s 22 different frozen drink options. The shuttle bus sells them for $1.09 for a small and $1.59 for a large.

Kwik Shop has the same price for a small, but a 40-cent decrease for a large.

QuikTrip also priced the same $1.09 for a small, but also has four other size options ranging in price from $1.09 all the way up to $1.69 for the extra large frozen drink.

QuikTrip and the shuttle bus prices candy and Nature Valley bars the same. For candy, they price it as $1.29 and Nature Valley rings up as $0.79.

Kwik Shop has the pricier options in this area, with candy being sold at $1.99 each, and Nature Valley bars at $0.89 each.

The shuttle bus does not offer many options for actual food, but does offers hot dogs and jalapeno cheddar smoked sausage. They cost $1.59 each or two for $2.59.

QuikTrip and Kwik Shop are similar in “roller grill” items. Kwik Shop sells them for $1.59 a piece of two for $2 with a Dillons card. Both have more of a variety with about 10-12 different options. QuikTrip’s “roller grill” items are $1.49 each or two for $2.49, so QT comes out on top with the lowest prices and most variety.

The owner of the shuttle bus, Kelly Fankhauser, is trying to line up a deal with a vendor to offer sandwiches.

The main idea of the shuttle bus store is convenience for students. The location of the bus is on 29th and Oliver, but there is also a Kwik Shop close to campus. It is located at 21st and Oliver streets, which could be more convenient for students not using the shuttle services.

There is a QuikTrip relatively close to the Metropolitan Complex at K-96 and Oliver. The locations vary in convenience for individual students and the way they commute to campus.

The bus offers a new option for WSU students especially with shuttle services users in mind.