Since when is The Tech a space for the U.S. Armed Forces to advertise freely? Given the amount of heated debate in the last month in this newspaper about the war, doesn’t donating space for a recruiting ad for the Navy (April 15, page 20) bring your unbiased perspective into question?
[LTE]On Daytime Saferide[body]
The recent editorials about the benefits and problems with the current proposal for daytime Saferide do not address some basic and important issues.
The proposed daytime Saferide is pointless for exactly one reason -- the number 1. This bus already crosses the Harvard Bridge regularly, making stops along Mass Ave that make the proposed three stops a near perfect redundancy of the MBTA’s bus service. Surely the members of the fraternities and sororities that are close to these stops can afford the 75 cents for the bus and do not require the entire student body to pay for their heated transport on cold days. They aren’t a large enough percentage of the population to warrant spending $30,000 of student life money each year to serve them.
Consider that members of ZBT and ET are closer to the nearest Tech Shuttle stop (at Tang) than they are to the nearest proposed Saferide stop. Consider also that the walk from Beacon and Mass Ave to 77 is only about as long as the walk from Burton-Conner to 77. Finally, there are few if any graduate students who live in the Back Bay area that would be served by the proposed route. If we do indeed institute daytime Saferide during winter months, we should serve as large a percentage of the student body as possible, not just those few who are lucky enough to live close enough to make it sound inexpensive.
While daytime Saferide need not stop at every FSILG, it should make some effort to serve them all with stops along Comm Ave, Beacon, Bay State, and even in Brookline. It should also try to serve graduate students, with a Cambridge route stopping near grad dorms and the most popular areas for graduate students to have apartments. Priority for stops should be given to those areas not well served by public transportation. Those living near the red line and buses can buy subsidized T-passes. It would be well worth any increase in cost to serve three or four times as many students as the current plan allows.
If the cost becomes prohibitively high, the routes could be funded partially by fares paid by those who wish to take the shuttle. Students could buy passes to help pay for their comfort. Even 25 cents per ride could offset a significant portion of the expense to the general student population while still providing the students using the service with an inexpensive way to avoid walking miles in the snow.
Daytime Saferide isn’t a bad idea. It’s a long cold walk to MIT from Boston most of the school year. But it’s also a long cold walk from Cambridge and Brookline. A daytime shuttle should fill holes left by public transportation to better serve all students, not just provide a free way to follow the number 1. [sig]
Dina Feith ’03