[IMAGE]ASU-Jaguar-Express-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Augusta (Ga.) State University debuted its new campus shuttle, Jaguar Express, which opened its doors to greet the first riders Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Two shuttles will provide service--offered free of charge-- between 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, between the Walton Way and Wrightsboro campuses and the university’s residential housing complex, University Village.
“We are excited about the Jaguar Express shuttle service,” said Karl Munschy, director of business services. “We believe that every student, whether they ever step foot on the shuttle or not, will benefit from this service, because we hope that it will also reduce the parking demand on campus.”
The need for a shuttle program at ASU has been discussed on and off for many years, according to Munschy. Initially the students who were taking courses at Christenberry Fieldhouse began requesting some level of service between the Walton Way campus and the Forrest Hills campus.
"The addition of University Village, the campus housing on Damascus Road, only added to the demand for a shuttle system," Munschy said. "And certainly the hope that a shuttle system would help reduce parking demand on the Walton Way campus was a significant consideration."
In the fall of 2008, the ASU's Student Government Association initiated the formal process by requesting a fee increase to cover the cost of a shuttle service.
Through a competitive bid process administered by the state of Georgia, Horizon Transportation based in Harlem, Ga., was awarded the contract.
One shuttle seats 32 passengers and has a wheel chair lift, while the other bus will seat 24 passengers. Each bus can also have 12 standing passengers if needed.
Because the service is free, students are only required to show their JagCard (University Identification). However, the program is student funded through a fee that they pay at the time of registration. The $35.00 fee covers transportation on the Jaguar Express, the ability to ride Augusta Transit busses and also one parking permit per student.