FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA GU officials are considering adding a GUTS stop from Capitol Hill to the GU Law Center in response to student support.
GU officials are considering adding a GUTS stop from Capitol Hill to the GU Law Center in response to student support.

Prompted by wide student support, university officials are considering implementing a new Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle bus stop from Capitol Hill to the Georgetown University Law Center.

Anebi Adoga (COL ’16) submitted a proposal calling for the additional stop on IdeaScale, an online forum that facilitates campus-wide communication, in November. The proposal currently has 551 votes on the IdeaScale platform, Georgetown Roundtables, and is the third-highest ranked item on the site.

“Georgetown should expand GUTS to provide direct means of transportation for the university community to Capitol Hill and the National Mall. Such an expansion is feasible and will carry tremendous benefits for the entire university community,” Adoga wrote in the proposal.

The Georgetown University Student Association will distribute a survey gauging student interest and need for potentially adding or altering GUTS routes in the coming weeks.

“The survey’s results will be carefully reviewed with the understanding that it is a snapshot of when and where students intern, which clearly changes from semester to semester,” Associate Vice President for Federal Relations Scott Fleming said.

University administrators have to collaborate with various stakeholders before making a decision about the GUTS stops.

“Without regard to the current status of the initiative that Adoga is working on, the factors we would consider to change a GUTS route are numerous,” Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey said. “Other considerations would be in coordination with the Georgetown Community Partnership, and impacts to the overall effectiveness of the GUTS system.”

Cost factors may also affect the implementation of the new stop.

“Evaluations of the costs and logistical questions relating to adding stops to GUTS bus routes are made within the Facilities team and the Office of Transportation Management.  I can’t speak to everything that goes into that process, but there are definitely logistical questions as well as cost factors,” Fleming said.

If administrators decide in favor of the Capitol Hill stop, it would likely be implemented at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

“If a decision were to be made in the positive I think this is reasonable and possible to do this by the fall,” Morey said.

The proposed congressional stop would take the House of Representatives exit from the freeway instead of the Senate, adding about two or three minutes to the trip time of the Law Center bus route, which currently takes about 15 minutes.

Adoga has met with Office of Transportation Management Director Diann Nock Smith and Fleming to discuss his proposal. Adoga’s initial idea, which called for GUTS stops at the National Mall and the Senate in addition to the stop at the House of Representatives, was met with disapproval by the administration.

Administrators have noted that due to the Senate’s proximity to the Law Center, a separate stop may be unnecessary.

“I personally park at the Law Center where there already is a stop and walk to the Senate office buildings regularly. Students interning on the Senate side need to think about the Law Center stop as very accessible to their internships,” Fleming said.

Adding multiple stops would also increase costs. The OTM spent $35,000 to implement a weekend late-night shuttle bus to Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan last year.

A GUTS stop at the House of Representatives would ensure lower costs, compared to a National Mall stop.

“Cost is always a factor and to the extent such a change would add little or no cost, I would certainly say that is a positive consideration,” Morey said.

After speaking with administrators, Adoga has shifted his focus to creating the stop at Capitol Hill, although he hopes that the other stops will be considered in the future.

“Right now the priority is a stop in front of the House. Also, the House stop is the cheapest part of the plan. … Hopefully a lot more people would ride the Law Center shuttle to their congressional and Senate internships,” Adoga said.

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