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Shuttle route likely to expand

This fall, returning students may find a revamped shuttle service when they arrive on campus.

Due to the number of student concerns regarding the shuttles, Undergraduate Student Government created a shuttle ad-hoc committee.

Because students have long called for greater access to downtown Bowling Green, USG has proposed an adjustment to get them downtown, Senator Melinda Grooms said.

The change – which is likely to come after senators pass a resolution – will involve adding downtown stops to the shuttles’ north routes.

The north route is far less effective than the south route, which picks up nearly 60,000 more students a year, Grooms said.

The ad-hoc committee plans on modifying this route, taking out stops that aren’t being used and adding in those that will bring students to downtown locations.

‘We will be looking at changing the schedule of the routes as well,’ Grooms said. ‘If we find that the shuttles are not being used at 7 in the morning, then we may push the start time back to 9 and have the route open for two hours longer.’

If the above plan is rejected, the committee has considered leaving the schedule the same and having late night hours be ‘pay-as-you-go.’

Students will have the opportunity to vote on more changes during the USG elections from March 24-28.

In addition to candidates on the online ballot, students will be asked whether they would be willing to pay a transportation fee that would go into effect during the 2009-10 academic year.

‘Are [students] willing to pay no more than $20 a semester for parking lots, new and improved shuttle buses and a full-time downtown route?’ Grooms asked USG senators. ‘With a transportation fee, all this will be possible.’

Although concerns were brought up about the fee amount, Senator Krista Long said it was a small price to pay for a shuttle that will bring students downtown.

If a transportation fee is added to the general fee, students will have the option to not pay for it.

Those who don’t pay won’t be able to ride the downtown shuttle.

The committee has also considered creating a bus pass similar to a parking pass in order to eliminate confusion concerning who has paid the transportation fee.

If students pass the transportation fee, an on-campus shuttle department would also be created.

The shuttle services are currently managed by Supervisor Fred Smith, who is responsible for a number of other parking issues that leave him unable to focus on revamping the shuttle, Grooms said.

With the modification of the shuttle services over the course of the next year, all issues currently discussed will hopefully be solved, USG Vice President Nick Gamero said.

‘I see this as a great opportunity for the students’ voice to be heard in an official capacity,’ Gamero said. ‘We were told this was an impossible issue, and it just feels so good to defy criticisms.’

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