If you’ve been wondering why your trip to town now includes a walk to the DAC to meet the shuttle (as opposed to the previous Student Union pick up), I have your answer. The shuttle system is on life support, and soon the plug will be pulled in order to make way for use of the BBus, the regional public transportation system of the Berkshires.
The BBus currently runs only once an hour until 5:30 p.m. and visits campus only when students call it. When it comes, students meet it at the DAC courtyard, which Ken Geremia, Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Planning (and person who answered my email to firstname.lastname@example.org), explained as the reasoning behind the change of location. His goal is to make the BBus more accessible to students by having it come to campus more frequently (twice an hour) and run until 9 p.m.
This system does benefit students in certain ways. The BBus has longer and more varied routes, stopping at places other than Big Y and Price Chopper. In fact, the current route runs all the way to Pittsfeild, which hosts the nearest Starbucks is (if anyone was wondering) and Lee Premium Outlets. There would still be no Sunday service, however, and more stops means the possibility of a longer ride.
There is still the looming issue of public transportation, which is not, unlike the shuttle, free to students. But fear not! If the shuttle system is expanded in favor of the public bus, the cost won’t be coming out of your pocket.
“Simon’s Rock hopes to have an account with the BRTA so we can cover the cost for our students to use it. Students will not have to pay,” said Ken via email.
As to whether or not this new system will work or be an absolute failure, only time will tell. For now, the shuttle system remains as Transportation waits on the updated BBus route and schedule. This will hopefully allow the BBus to replace the campus shuttle in our hearts and minds.
Lauren Stevens, a contributer to The Cad.