Transportation Department Adds New Shuttles
Starting this week, Transportation Services will offer new shuttles on Thursday nights from campus to the New Haven train station and on Sunday afternoons from the Meriden train station back to campus. The shuttle on Thursday nights will leave from Usdan at 6 p.m. and the shuttle on Sunday will meet the 3:12 train in Meriden, coming from New Haven. The new shuttles, which will cost $10, will run every week until spring break.
The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) first gauged student interest in adding new shuttles through a survey at the end of last semester. They will run in addition to existing New Haven shuttles on Friday evenings, Saturday mornings, and Sunday evenings.
“We decided to send out a survey to all students on campus asking if people would use [the new] shuttles,” said WSA Transportation Chair Evan Weber ’13. “We got really positive survey results and we showed those survey results to the transportation department and they were impressed and they said lets give it a try and see if it works out.”
Weber said that the Sunday shuttle will allow students to come back earlier in the day than the 5 p.m. shuttle from New Haven to campus. He believes the Thursday shuttle will be useful for students who want to go off campus for the weekend and do not have classes on Friday.
“A lot of students don’t have Friday classes, but if they don’t have a car, there’s no way for them to get to the New Haven train station if they want to go anywhere in the Northeast,” he said. “We thought Thursday would be a popular [travel day].”
Transportation Manager Joe Martocci worked with Weber and Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer to launch the new shuttles. Martocci said that an average of seven riders per trip is needed to sustain the shuttles.
“We’re going to try this as an experiment, but we’re looking for student participation to make this work,” he said. “If it comes down and there’s only one or two people, then it’s not worth it.”
Martocci said the shuttles will be on a trial basis until spring break, at which point the group will assess how successful they’ve been and decide whether to continue them for the last part of the semester.
“There’s five or six trips before break, then we’ll regroup and see what we come up with,” he said. “Hopefully this works out with everybody.”
This semester Martocci also has plans to increase student awareness for Blirp-It, the texting GPS service that allows students to see where the Ride is on campus. He also noted that the new Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. shuttle added during Thanksgiving break was a success, and that the shuttle will run again next Thanksgiving.
Tickets are available for all shuttles at the Box Office and online.