UT Survey: Student government crucial to university transit systems

Posted on June 18, 2012

The most important step in planning bus route service and fees for university and college transit systems is considering the needs of students and how to tap their feedback. How do universities seek this out? We asked a handful of university transit system operators about the role student government plays in their planning process.

Here are their responses:

“The Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Senate have representation on the Parking Advisory Committee. Before we make any major changes, as we are doing with four of our six routes for the upcoming academic year, we always present our thoughts, plans and data to this committee well in advance. We also have an ongoing/open line of communication with them for feedback throughout the academic year.”

Janet Freniere, manager, transportation services
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Conn.

“At the University of Texas at Austin, Parking and Transportation Services works very closely with Student Government representatives to provide a more efficient and effective shuttle bus service for the campus community. The student government representatives that are appointed to the shuttle bus committee provide valuable feedback to transit planners regarding routes, frequencies and levels of service each academic year. With the help of student government, Parking and Transportation Services is able to operate a program that has grown into one of the largest collegiate shuttle bus programs in the nation.”

Blanca Juarez, alternative transportation manager, parking and transportation services
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

“Our Transportation Services division coordinates with the Resident Housing Association, which is the student government for residence halls on campus. Our Buff Bus service specifically services students living in off-campus dormitories. Transportation coordinates frequently to ensure quality service. Parking Services hosts an organization called Parking Management Advisory Committee, on which two Colorado University Student Government members serve. This committee is responsible for the oversight and input of amendments to parking regulations and other systematic structural implementation.”

Jena Cafiero, communications manager, parking & transportation services
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colo.

“We are run by student government. We have an eight-member student board. Two of the members are part of the student senate and the rest are students at large. This office is run on a $30 per semester student fee. A small portion of our funding comes from Main Hall — $35,000 annually. Otherwise the funding is a direct student fee overseen by students. This is a great way to run university transit and other transportation options on campus.”

Nancy Wilson, director, Associated Students of The University of Montana, Office of Transportation
University of Montana
Missoula, Mont.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Click here, to read our previous UT survey on how universities are creating bike-friendly campuses.

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