MSA approves late-night activities bus pilot plan

Courtney Lewis

Dealing with slow buses and cold weather has been a problem this winter for Andrea Bullinger, a University freshman.

“Last semester, I had night class until 9; it was hard to catch those buses,” Bullinger said.

The Minnesota Student Association is working with Parking and Transportation Services to make buses more convenient and useful for students like Bullinger.

MSA passed a resolution Tuesday to create a pilot program that will run a bus seven days per week, between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

“Students of age let off a little steam and have a good time. It’s not always conducive to driving back to their University residence,” said Jeff Nath, the MSA member who proposed the plan.

University buses would circulate every 10 minutes through the East and West banks of campus, stopping near residence halls, bars and classroom buildings under the MSA resolution.

MSA approved up to $5,000 for the pilot program but will also seek money from the University’s parking and transportation department.

Nath said he hopes a strong positive response from students will induce the University to take over the late-night activities bus.

Parking and Transportation Services currently offers Campus Express buses, which run on the East and West banks and the St. Paul campus Monday through Friday every 40 minutes from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. The bus also runs Saturday and Sunday mornings until 2 p.m.

Bill Stahlmann, director of services for Parking and Transportation Services, said running the express route more often has been discussed but is not currently feasible.

“It’s not moving students to classes – it’s moving students to activities,” Stahlmann said. Therefore, he said, it would be difficult to acquire funding for more late-night buses.

Last fall, Stahlmann implemented a 15-minute interval for Campus Connectors running from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. He said he thought the previous 30-minute wait per bus was inadequate. Stahlmann said he plans to post signs about the changed schedule this summer.