Safe Ride to Run on Fixed ScheduleBy Jennifer C. Han
Users of Safe Ride will notice numerous changes this year in the free shuttle service, among them a fixed schedule, an additional Boston route, and several changes in the location of stops.
A new Safe Ride pamphlet detailing the changes will be available in late September at the Campus Police station and at other sites.
Service to Boston was split into two routes, Boston west and Boston east. Regular service was added to Huntington Hall, Epsilon Theta, and Zeta Beta Tau. In Cambridge, service expanded to include the Kendall Square subway station.
The improvements in Safe Ride "stemmed from the death of [Yngve Raustein `94] on Memorial Drive" last fall, Cuthbert said.
The Graduate Student Council is looking into future improvements for Safe Ride, Cuthbert said. Tentative ideas include signs for the stops, longer hours, and expanded routes. During registration Wednesday, GSC members distributed over 3,500 questionnaires to investigate whether expanded hours and routes could ease the parking problem on campus and lessen pollution. Additional questionnaires are available at the GSC office, Cuthbert said.
Additional changes to the routes include scheduled stops at the corner of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue, Cuthbert said. To improve service, West Garage, Albany Garage, the commuter parking lot on Albany St., and the MIT Museum have been taken off the Cambridge route because of low demand. Vans stop there only when requested.
The Cambridge route will take about 20 minutes, and the Boston routes are expected to take 30 minutes, Cuthbert said. Hours of operation will remain the same (6 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday).
The changes were met mostly with approval by students. "The Kendall T stop is a crucial change since I go to the T more than I go across the river," said Natalie Z. Burger '96.
"I won't adjust my life around Safe Ride," said Josh Erlich '94. "But now I can decide if I should wait for Safe Ride or just walk depending on the wait . . . I used to just walk, so I'll probably use Safe Ride more."
Hillary R. Hudis '94, who has used Safe Ride "a lot to go across the river to study with friends," said she expects "many more people would use Safe Ride if they knew when the bus arrives because they can easily schedule their departures and arrivals."
Last spring, students enrolled in Undergraduate Transportation Lab (1.102) collected data on arrival and departure times and the demand of the stops to create a fixed schedule, said David S. Cuthbert G, who consulted with the students. Cuthbert, Director of Special Services Stephen D. Immerman, and Campus Police implemented the new schedule, routes, and changes in stops, Cuthbert said.