Starting on May 1, students in need of a weekday ride to the Meriden Rail Station or the Westfield Mall will not have to blow their budget on cab rides or beg friends with cars to drive them. Instead, they can walk to the corner of William and High, dig $1.25 out of their pocket, and take the Middletown/Meriden Connection (M Link) Bus, which will stop on campus 10 times a day Monday through Friday and four times a day on Saturday as part of a joint effort between the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA), Middletown Area Transit (MAT), and the Meriden Transit District (MTD).
“I thought it would be beneficial for both the University and the district,” said MTD Administrator Thomas Cheeseman. “We ask that students take advantage of it and not only to go to the mall—there are other places in the city that they can take advantage of.”
In early March, after WSA Finance and Facilities Committee (FiFac) member Zach Malter ’13 negotiated a trial program with Cheeseman, the bus began making stops on campus on Saturdays. Before the stop at William and High was es tablished, students had to hike down to a transit station on Main Street to board the bus.
“It was kind of an experimental thing,” Malter said. “But 17 people [rode the bus] on the first Saturday alone.”
Malter had further discussions with Cheeseman to establish the Wesleyan stop as part of the M Link’s daily route. Starting on May 1, the MAT website will include the Wesleyan stop.
Malter pointed out the significance of having viable public transit to the Meriden Train Station, which has Amtrak Service from New Haven to Springfield, Mass.
“This year, [the WSA’s] vision was to increase transportation broadly—during breaks, during the year,” he said. “This was a step to fulfill that. What’s so great is that it’s going to affect the day-to-day lives of students because it’s so routine and readily accessible.”
The bus also has stops in downtown Meriden, the Route 372 Walmart, and throughout Middletown Monday through Saturday. Bus services do not run on Sunday.