A petition signed by 269 students so far calls for UR to provide transportation to students before 7:00 a.m.
Called “Morning Gold Line,” the petition was posted on November 7th on the SA student government’s official petition site, Impact.
The petition, initially submitted by junior Zdenek Vitesnik, states that its purpose is to “bring attention to the fact that there is no transportation for students between Riverview and the River Campus before 7:00am,” as there are “many students in Riverview who have either athletic practices or work starting at 7:00.”
The Gold Line, one of the University’s shuttle lines, runs from Riverview Apartments to Rush Rhees Library from 7:28 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays according to Rochester’s Gold Line schedule. This presents a problem for students who routinely go back and forth between the locations.
“As it is getting progressively colder and darker in the mornings the walk between Riverview and River Campus gets more difficult,” wrote Zdenek Vitesnik in an email to the Campus Times. “There are buses running until 1:30 in the morning and I think the students that have to get to campus by 7:00 am to go to work or varsity practice deserve a bus at this time, too.”
Senior Alanoud Alzaid, a Riverview resident, said her roommate “has to work very early in the morning as an [Emergency Department Research Associate], so sometimes she can’t take the early morning bus because she has to be there at 7.”
As a result, Alzaid said, she has to walk to the hospital.
Senior Omolemo Matloga, another Riverview resident, said that this petition is important because of the cold and “[having] students just walking in [this weather] is not safe at all.”
“It has been a concern that student government leaders have been trying to address, but it was made a priority as a result of seeing all the students’ support behind it,” said SA Campus Services Chair and junior Alexander Pavlicin.
SA monitors the petitions uploaded on the IMPACT site, Pavlicin said. Ideally, SA brings the issue up with administrators, and then a plan is formulated and implemented. For this particular case, Pavlicin said that because the case is directly linked to offices such as Residential Life and Transportation Services, “ultimately, Residential Life is the one who makes the final decision on the shuttle line.”
Pavlicin said the fact that the petition reached over 250 signatures greatly helped in this process.
The advisory committee in the Department of Parking and Transportation — comprised of faculty, staff, and students, Pavlicin said — is working to resolve this issue.
On November 18th, SA presented their case to administration, and emerged with a plan to reallocate the transportation budget to expand the Gold Line’s operational hours.
“The committee has previously evaluated the overall ridership of campus shuttles and expressed concerns over the small ridership numbers for the Thursday Green Line service,” wrote Pavlicin in an email to the Campus Times. “Less than 20 riders per week typically utilize the weekday service, compared to more than 1000 on Saturday’s service. The group recommended reallocating the money from the weekday Green Line service to [extend] the morning Gold Line by an hour. That is now the current plan for the spring semester.”