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GSC Revives Grocery Shuttle on Trial Basis

By Jung Yoon Choi

The Graduate Student Council is resurrecting a grocery shuttle to bring students to LaVerde's Star Market in Medford, a full service grocery store, according to Jeffrey J. Sriver G, co-chair of the GSC Housing and Community Affairs Committee.

The grocery shuttle will begin operation this Saturday and will run every Saturday through October, Sriver said. Buses will start at Building E40 at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and make several stops across campus before heading out to the Star Market, he said.

"Based on what the interest is during the trial period, we will make a decision on whether to continue the shuttle through November and beyond," Sriver said.

Frank LaVerde, the owner of the Star Market and LaVerde's Market in the Student Center, is sponsoring the shuttle, Sriver said. LaVerde also sponsored the shuttle attempt in the spring, which was terminated due to a lack of participation, Sriver said.

"Frank LaVerde is looking for at least 30 participants a week to call the program a success," Sriver said. "If there is enough interest, he is willing to continue to sponsor the shuttle." LaVerde would be sponsoring the shuttle mainly as a community service, Sriver said.

The GSC has been receiving several requests to restart the shuttle service, and the issue has been petitioned at various graduate student dormitories, Sriver said.

"We have every reason to believe that the shuttle will be widely used," said GSC Adviser Ying Ying Li. First-year graduate students and undergraduates will make the most use of the shuttle, Li said. Also, "it will soon be winter, and it will be even more difficult for people to carry food from stores or T-stops," she said.

"What we need is hard evidence to present to Frank LaVerde that the program will be a success," Sriver said.

The committee agreed to organize a four-week trial period with LaVerde to sample the amount of interest among MIT students, he said.

The shuttle will be available for all graduate and undergraduate students and spouses, Sriver said.

Participation in the shuttle last spring waned toward the end of the semester due to final exams, Sriver said. A weak publicity campaign may have also contributed to the failure, he said.