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MIT Shuttle Service Improved

By Gabriel Fouasnon

The new school year has rolled out improvements to MIT’s shuttle services, including the addition of two new buses and the expansion of access to ShuttleTrack. Additionally, the Northwest and Daytime Boston shuttles will run all year.

Facilities buys new buses

This past summer, the Parking and Transportation Office bought two new buses, debuting on the Northwest and Tech shuttles.

The office intends to upgrade the entire fleet by the end of next summer, PTO Operations Manager Lawrence R. Brutti said last March.

The new vehicles can run on environmentally friendly bio-diesel fuel, but Brutti said a fuel provider must first be found.

Northwest Shuttle continued

At this time last year, students could only ride one daytime shuttle route, the Tech Shuttle. This year, with the addition of the Northwest and expansion of the Daytime Boston, there are three.

A trial of the Northwest Shuttle, which links the northwestern and eastern parts of campus, began last December and ended in the spring. Because of high demand, it will run throughout the year, said James H. Wallace, director of Shared Services in the Department of Facilities.

The Daytime Boston shuttle will run the entire academic year; last year it ran only during the late fall and winter (excluding IAP).

ShuttleTrack access expanded

ShuttleTrack (http://shuttletrack.mit.edu), a GPS online system used to track shuttles in real-time, can now be used with Wireless Access Point-enabled PDAs and cell phones from http://shuttletrack.mit.edu/wap.php. Additionally, the information is available by phone at xTRACK (x8-7225) on campus, or (617) 258-7225.

Although Brutti said ShuttleTrack was “up and running,” it has been down for some routes, even as recently as last night. Technicians are in the process of installing new GPS hardware, Brutti said.

SafeRide committee plans goals

An ad hoc SafeRide committee created by the Panhellenic Association last spring is planning new goals, including the development of a feedback system on bus drivers.

The committee also wants to help with systematic communication of changes in SafeRide routes during Red Sox games, committee co-chair Ellen E. Sojka ’08 said.

Another goal is to install a map and overhanging winter heating lamps at 84 Massachusetts Avenue and place better signs at all the other stops. The committee would also like to system to notify drivers if a rider is waiting at a stop, Sojka said.

Last term, the committee re-routed and optimized some of the SafeRide routes, leading to changes in the Boston East and Boston West SafeRide routes, Sojka said.

Students interested in contributing to the SafeRide committee, which Sojka said may become long-term, should e-mail saferide_officers@mit.edu.