Yale College Council members met with officials from the University, the State of Connecticut and Connecticut Limo shuttle service Thursday morning to discuss the YCC’s Spring Break shuttle and the competition it poses for the limo service.
On March 5 and 6, the shuttle organized by the YCC will take students to Bradley International Airport in Hartford and on March 21 will bring them back to the University — a service normally dominated by Connecticut Limo. YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 and YCC Student Services Committee chairman Steven Syverud ’06 met yesterday with University Associate Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93, Connecticut State Senator Len Fasano ’81 and three Connecticut Limo officials over breakfast in Saybrook College to discuss the budding duopoly.
Mogul said Connecticut Limo — which advertises one-way trips to Bradley for $34 on its Web site — is concerned about competing with the YCC, which offers its one-way service for $15. Mogul said the officials asked him why Yale students would want an alternative service.
“We told them because of price, because of convenience in terms of stopping, and because of comfort [students wanted an alternative],” Mogul said. “But I’d have to emphasize that it’s really [Connecticut Limo’s] price that has brought the most student complaints.”
Syverud said initially he did not know what to expect from the meeting.
“I was secretly worried that they would have some kind of loophole or try to shut us down,” Syverud said. “It was a little intimidating because the five of them sat at one side of the table.”
Syverud is a staff reporter for the Yale Daily News.
Mogul said the YCC has no plans to change its service in the long-term. He said the meeting was “really friendly.”
“It was a wonderful breakfast, with normal human beings having the kinds of conversations that normal beings have,” Morand said. “This was one of the nicest conversations I’ve been part of in a long time — capable and committed Yale student leaders talking with a good, local family business, all focused on the mutual goal of quality and convenient service at a reasonable price, and all agreeing to talk again.”
Syverud said the meeting was called because Connecticut Limo owner Andy Anastasio, who was present at the meeting, is a “good friend” of Fasano. He said Fasano called Morand, who set up the meeting.
“[Anastasio’s] perspective was, ‘Gee, I provide this unique service for Yale that I think is pretty good in a lot of ways,'” Syverud said. “He didn’t understand why someone would want to compete with him.”
Anastasio said the YCC has hurt his business, Syverud said. Syverud said he was surprised at “the influence” the YCC has had on Connecticut Limo.
Errol Saunders ’06 said he does not ride the YCC shuttle or Connecticut Limo. He said that he did use Connecticut Limo once but would not do so again.
“We got into one small van,” Saunders said. “Then we transferred to a large bus. Then we transferred back to a small van — It was horrible.”
Connecticut Limo officials were unavailable for comment.
YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said the YCC would consider partnering with Connecticut Limo or anyone who could help the shuttle service better benefit students.