posted on: Thursday November 8, 2001
by Felicia Grosso
Last week, Student Congress unanimously passed a recommendation to revise the campus’s shuttle service in an attempt to make it more accessible to a greater number of students. On Sept. 17, Student Congress first discussed revising the College’s current shuttle service, which they felt “wasn’t serving the students as completely as it could,” according to Student Congress President, Stephen Muzrall ’02. In a recommendation drawn up by Congress, it was stated that the shuttle service, which is run through the S.A.I.L. office, was not being “used to its fullest potential” and that it was traveling to “certain low-demand destinations as opposed to higher demand destinations.” In addition, Muzrall reported that there have been “lots of calls for more shuttles for community service students.” Through rider-ship surveys, where members of Congress’s Student Life committee boarded the shuttle at various times during the day to count its users, Congress discovered that there were not as many people utilizing the shuttle in the morning as they would like there to be. In an attempt to increase shuttle usage, Congress has proposed canceling some morning shuttles and running more in the afternoon. Congress has also proposed that “two shuttles be available in the weekday afternoons to accommodate transportation to and from the neighborhood and errand locations.” Other proposals for the service include expanding the routes of the shuttles. Congress has proposed having a shuttle that makes a “minimum of one daily trip to and from Thayer Street and Federal Hill on weekdays” as well as an increase in trips to Providence Place mall on weekends. Congress is also looking to acquire bigger shuttles that can hold more than fifteen people. There is also a proposal for possible shuttle stations to be built as well. In addition to proposing expanded routes, the recommendations also propose to increase advertising and publicity of the shuttle in attempt to boost ridership. Congress has proposed that the shuttle maps around campus be redesigned with “three dimensional appearance and visual destination points” to make it easier for students to locate the shuttle. Congress has also proposed that there be better publicity for the shuttle through the use of mass e-mail and wallet-cards. Muzrall believes that all students can help to improve the shuttle services. Many students are unaware of the fact that the college does not own their own shuttles, but rather they hire out the Professional Security Services company. “People complain to themselves and friends [about the shuttle] and not to the proper authorities,” he said. Muzrall explained that if a student has a complaint about the shuttle, they could write out a report in the S.A.I.L. office. Overall, Muzrall is excited about this proposal. “I think this will be really good for the school,” he said enthusiastically. “Sharon Hay [the director of S.A.I.L.] has been very helpful in the situation,” he added. Muzrall explained that many of the changes regarding the shuttle system are an “experiment,” and Congress, along with the S.A.I.L. office, will be working to figure out which proposals are the best. As of now, Congress does not have an exact date as to when the changes will take effect, but Muzrall believes it will be some time in the near future.