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GSC Grocery Shuttle Continues with New Store

By Eva Moy
Staff Reporter

Dissatisfied with the selection of soda at the MacGregor House Convenience Store? Unwilling to lug 20 pounds of rice back from Central Square?

Starting tomorrow, and continuing every Saturday of the semester, the Graduate Student Council-sponsored Grocery Shuttle will run between the MIT campus and the full-service Star Market on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge.

LaVerde's Market in the Student Center is "too small, especially for graduate families," said Karen Beretta, shuttle coordinator and wife of Robert K. Beretta G.

The bus can hold about 60 people and their groceries, said Geoffrey J. Coram G, co-chair of the GSC Housing and Community Affairs Committee.

A total of 1,400 people rode the grocery shuttle last year, averaging just under 35 per week, Coram said.

The shuttle will run on a trial basis for the first two weeks to show Star Market that there is enough interest, Beretta said. "If anybody thinks they may use this, ever... get on the bus the first couple of weeks," she said.

The shuttle, which in began in April, 1994, originally brought shoppers to a Star Market in Medford, which was owned by Frank LaVerde, who also owns LaVerde's Market in the Student Center .

When the Medford store closed this summer, Beretta asked Star Market to continue the service.

Two trips to Star each Saturday

The free shuttle starts its first run at 10 a.m. and its second at 11 a.m., and arrives at Star Market about 25 minutes after each departure from MIT, according to a flyer about the shuttle.

This route is much shorter than last year's, since this Star Market is one-third the distance from MIT.

Allowing for at least one hour for shopping, the shuttle will leave from Star Market to return to MIT at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively.

The pick-up stops are: (in order) the northwest corner of Albany Street and Massachusetts Avenue, Building E40, Senior House, Ashdown House, Burton-Conner House, and Tang Hall. Students should flag the shuttle - a yellow school bus - to be picked up.

Shoppers may request to be dropped off at any residence hall on the return trip.

Last year, about 90 percent of the riders boarded at Tang, Coram said. But "we hope to publicize the shuttle better on the east side this year,"he said.

The GSC may also add a weekday run, based on student demand, Coram said. A survey about the shuttle can be accessed via the World-Wide Web at http://www.mit.edu:8001/activities/gsc/HCA/grocery_shuttle.html.

The shuttle will be funded by either the Star Market Corporation or the Star Market on Mt. Auburn St., Beretta said.