[IMAGE]husky020-2.jpg[/IMAGE]The University of Connecticut's (UConn) Transportation Services recently teamed up with Megabus to establish a pick-up spot on its Storrs campus. The bus stops between UConn's Co-Op Bookstore and Gampel Pavilion twice a day, seven days a week, stopping in Hartford before heading straight to New York.
MegaBus is currently subcontracting with DATTCO to operate the service from Boston to Hartford and New York City.
"We met with the folks from DATTCO about the purchase of new fleet buses and also ended up discussing MegaBus," explained Janet Freniere, manager, Transportation Services, at UConn. "When [DATTCO] told us they could divert the Boston to New York City route off of I-84 to include the UConn Storrs campus, we wanted to know when it could be done, how often they'd come to us and how much it would cost. DATTCO made it happen very quickly because our market was more than ready for it."
The service began on an interim schedule, with those interested able to book travel on the Megabus website anytime past February 18. Megabus was scheduled to begin service at the end of March, when the permanent schedule will be rolled out, but campus and Megabus officials were both eager to bring the service to campus sooner.
"MegaBus fits in because we are a large school in a very rural location. Having MegaBus available to our students, faculty, staff and townspeople opens many doors for people who would not otherwise be able to get to some of the big cities, at such a reasonable rate," said Freniere. "I am personally very much in favor of the program and think something like this is long overdue for our campus."
[IMAGE]megabus-com-skyline-2.jpg[/IMAGE]Currently, there are no plans by DATTCO to add times to the schedule, said Freniere; however, the company is hoping to add service to Boston some time this year. The service would not stop on campus, but, instead, at a Park and Ride lot that is about eight miles from campus.
Although the New York City Megabus program is still brand new, Freniere explained the reaction from UConn's campus has been extremely favorable.
"While there are a few who want more stops added throughout Connecticut and who want it to be more of a "commuter" service than it is designed to be, the overwhelming majority are very thankful," she said. "One of the campus staff members has a daughter who lives in New York City. She will be coming to visit in March and was able to book a seat on MegaBus for 50 cents. You just can't beat that."