The arrogance of area residents has once again ruined our day.

Earlier this week, the Office of Transportation Management began redirecting its Dupont Metro GUTS buses from their usual short jaunt to a new circuit, which takes passengers on an adventure through Burleith and Glover Park up Wisconsin Avenue, to the Naval Observatory, and down through Embassy Row. The change adds a significant amount of time and distance to the trip, inconveniencing students and staff.

It should come as no surprise that the change to the route came without any widespread efforts by OTM to consult with the students, faculty and staff who use the bus to commute to and from campus.

This is likely because the university was embarrassed as to the reason for the change. According to the OTM Web site, the change was a result of “community concerns” over the route of GUTS buses.

GUTS had no reason to feel obligated to make the change. The Q Street route is still currently used by the D2 and D6 Metro lines, among others.

Once again, it is our neighbors, not our students, who come first for university policymakers. And, once again, area residents have gone out of their way to make life a little more difficult for members of the university community.

It would be a stretch to say that university leaders are complicit in the plans of area residents to inconvenience students. But only barely.

By moving the GUTS route, the university has chosen to increase the commute of students traveling to work or internships, who must now get up earlier and get home (or to class) later. It extends the amount of time that the university faculty and staff who use the Dupont bus will be away from their families to accommodate their longer commute to their university jobs.

But, to the university, these concerns are less significant than running the risk of annoying some Georgetown residents.

At a time when the cost of fuel has never been higher, this new route will likely increase the cost of GUTS operations and place a strain on OTM’s ability to sustain current levels of service. It will also increase the university’s environmental impact.

The route alteration is not so inconvenient that people will stop using the buses, but it still should not have taken place. The university has a responsibility to be attuned to the needs of its hard-working students and staff and to put their concerns before the wishes of Georgetown’s far-from-oppressed residents.

We are appreciative of the transportation options that OTM provides. But, having made this decision without consulting adequately with its riders, having implemented it without any campus-wide announcement and catering to the wishes of area residents, OTM has let the university community down.

Comments are closed.