Expanded Weekend Shuttles Launch Today
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 01:03
A Friday and Saturday neighborhood shuttle service to Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan will launch tonight, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson announced in an email to the student body March 12.
“Our responsibility is to provide this service, and we think we’re providing this service as a safety measure for students more than anything,” Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey said.
The shuttle service, which will run Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., will use 22-passenger busses and cost $12,000 for the remaining eight weeks of the semester. The shuttle will run from the tennis courts by McDonough Gymnasium to the corner of 20th Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Dupont Circle, with a stop at the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Avenue in Adams Morgan. Olson emphasized that the shuttles will benefit all students, not just upperclassmen.
“Both Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan have some appealing features open to everybody, not just those over 21 specifically,” Olson said, citing options like Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Dupont.
Morey said that the route, which uses the university’s Canal Road entrance and avoids the residential portion of Georgetown, was chosen to avoid disturbing neighbors.
“This is our initial take on the route,” Morey said. “If we find out there’s a better way to do it, we’re going to take that feedback and consider it.”
Unlike the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle, which is catered to faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students, and operates infrequently on weekends, this shuttle will target undergraduates specifically, similar to the shuttle service to Burleith and M Street launched in fall 2011.
According to Morey, although the idea for a new shuttle has been on the table for a while, the Office of Student Life, Facilities Management and the Department of Public Safety officially proposed the idea three weeks ago with student input. Two Georgetown Community Partnership working groups — one on safety and student life, and one on transportation and parking — vetted the idea and officially approved the route March 13.
This shuttle is the latest attempt to improve the quality of student social life on campus and minimize late-night activity in the neighboring community. In his email, Olson emphasized the importance of enhancing student life as part of reducing noise and disruptive behavior in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I’m hoping this might make the city more accessible for students and also make things smoother in the neighborhood, too,” Olson said. “The potential difference in number of people walking on Prospect might have to do with the number of them looking for cabs, but we have not analyzed things like cab usage in detail.”
Olson said the proposal balances the goal of the 2010 Campus Plan to bring social life back to campus.
“One of the things I’ve heard from students is that they are supportive of the idea, and we don’t want to isolate the students from Washington,” Olson said. “The shuttle is one of the ways to accomplish both goals — taking part of the social life out of the local neighborhood while also pursuing stuff to bring social life back to campus — we need to do a balancing act making sure there are options in the city.”
GCP Transportation and Parking working group member Jake Sticka (COL ’13) cited the new shuttle service as an example of a GCP success.
“The shuttles are really a product of GCP working,” Sticka said. “All sides involved in the community partnership — the students, the university and the neighbors — all sort of recognized something that would be great for all of us. It really shows the power and the potential of GCP when it’s working the way we all hope it will.”