In 2018, the AS&E Graduate Student Association undertook a review of the current transportation system that the University provides and is available to graduate students. This process included surveying the entire University’s graduate student population on transportation needs, meeting with transportation personnel and University administrators, and benchmarking with undergraduate services which are supported by fees. Here is the Transportation Survey Report if you wish to go through it.
Survey data indicated that graduate students desire additional or revised bus routes, and a majority is willing to pay a transportation fee, as undergraduates currently do, to fund the bus changes.
Based on survey responses, the GSA worked with the Parking and Transportation Office to determine the costs for increasing the popular Orange Line shuttle service. We then submitted a proposal to the Board of Trustees to implement a $40 annual or $20 per semester fee that would fund the expansion of the Orange Line, adding two afternoon runs, including one at 12:00 pm and another at 2:00 pm. Our proposed transportation fee was approved and will take effect in fall 2019.
The funds from the AS&E graduate student transportation fee are not enough to fund all of the bus changes that students requested. However, our hope is that this contribution towards the cost of transportation services will strengthen our ability to advocate for graduate student transportation needs and help us continue to make changes to campus transportation for the benefit of graduate students. We look forward to continuing our work on this initiative and hope to collaborate with graduate students from other parts of the University on future transportation proposals.