Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Shuttle-UM to Open to CP Residents

See the DBK story here. Article's pretty good, but mischaracterizes RHA's involvement a little bit.
The bill had generated controversy among student groups for years. The Residence Halls Association in particular had spoken out strongly against making Shuttle-UM public, saying it would hurt campus safety. But months after a compromise with student groups and university administrators, RHA President Sumner Handy says the RHA has changed its position.
Accurate version: in 2005-2006, RHA President Kareem Branch led the dialogue between RHA members and university administrators, including DOTS Director David Allen. By the end of 2006, RHA had reached a consensus approval of the measure, noting that safety was not a sound concern and recommending that costs to students should be defrayed if at all possible. The RHA has not changed its position since then. Everything else is correct, though:
"We came to the practical conclusion that safety was not being compromised by opening it to the public," said Handy. "The fact of the matter is that they can already get on campus by walking on foot and taking the shuttle bus on weekends [when drivers don't check IDs.]"

Handy said the bill is good for students "as long as money comes into DOTS to defray student costs."
But it appears that costs won't be defrayed all that much. As all 35,000 students (grads and undergrads) pay a transportation fee, and the money coming into DOTS is projected to be about $5000 (as that's the minimum and city resident ridership is expected to stay low), we're looking at a one-seventh of one dollar decrease in student fees, or about 14 cents. I suppose it's better than nothing, but you can't even buy a carrot in the Co-Op for that much.

Posted by: Sumner Handy, President

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