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Holiday shuttle transports 300 to Logan airport

By Reuven M. Lerner

The Undergraduate Association Finance Board's Thanksgiving airport shuttle was "fairly successful," and may be repeated in the future, according to former UA Vice President and current FinBoard member Ephraim P. Lin '90. The service transported over 300 students between the campus and Logan airport on Wednesday afternoon, Lin said.

From 9 am until 2 pm, 25-person vans arrived hourly in front of McCormick Hall, MacGregor House and Senior House to take students to Logan airport. From 2 pm to 8 pm, four vans picked up students at half-hour intervals. Lin said that while "we mainly had dormitory residents take it, fraternity members" also used the shuttle. He added that "in that sense, we covered a lot of students." Lin said that over 315 students used the shuttle to get between MIT and Logan.

The shuttle was the result of a survey distributed to nearly 2500 students in dormitories and independent living groups last month. According to Lin, most students were willing to pay $2 or more for the service, and half of the respondents were willing to pay at least $5. Rides on the shuttle were finally priced at $3.

Lin said that the vans, which were operated by Dewitt Transportation Co., cost FinBoard $1600, of which $1000 was offset

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from student fares. He said that while FinBoard was "hoping to cover as much of the cost as possible," the "most important thing was that we provide the best service for students." Lin noted that the UA "could have limited the service, and sold tickets in advance [to keep costs down]," but that they had decided to "offer it to all students." The UA, he said, had "sacrificed revenue for making sure we covered the most students."

While the service did not run perfectly, Lin said that no "big mishaps" occurred during the day. He said that the "few coordination problems" were due to the "experimental" nature of the service, and that "as a first run, it went very well." One problem was the 9 am shuttle arriving a bit late on campus, which meant that "we missed a few students," Lin said.

Lin also noted that FinBoard had considered Tuesday and Thursday shuttles in addition to the Wednesday shuttle, but that "it was not feasible" this time. He also said that FinBoard is currently considering shuttles for the winter and spring breaks, including possible "chartered buses" to New York City and Washington, DC. But because students leave MIT "at different times" for winter break, it might be difficult to have a shuttle, he said.

Lin also expressed hope that future shuttles will provide more space for luggage.