Some students returning to campus from Bradley International Airport via the Yale College Council Airport Transportation Service found their post-spring break return trips more difficult than they had expected.
The YCC offered chartered buses from Bradley to Phelps Gate throughout the day on Sunday; two shuttles were delayed, and too many buses arrived to pick students up at 7:30 p.m. This was the third time the YCC has run a shuttle to or from Bradley, but this was the first time the council has contracted Peter Pan Arrow.
The shuttles scheduled to run at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. arrived over an hour late. At 7:30 p.m., only one bus was scheduled to run but four arrived. The YCC tried to contact the dispatch office but found that it was closed on Sundays.
Carl Lajeunesse, Charter Manager of Peter Pan Bus Lines of which Peter Pan Arrow is a member, said the company did not yet have any details about the delays, but he was “very, very concerned.” Members of the company scheduled a meeting at 8 a.m. today to discuss the incident.
Only about 35 students were affected by the delays, out of an estimated 400 who used the shuttle service before or after spring break, but YCC president Elliott Mogul ’05 said he was very distressed by the situation.
“We were really concerned with the fact that the delays happened because so many people find the delays they face when using commercial services ridiculous, and we wanted to provide a better service,” Mogul said. He said the YCC is “unlikely” to work with Peter Pan again.
After the delays, the YCC sent an apology e-mail to all students who were affected informing them that the YCC would compensate them with a free round-trip ticket for the shuttle service the next time they use it.
Steven Syverud ’06, chair of the Student Services Committee of the YCC, said he wants to maintain student confidence in the service.
“It’s really important to us to show that we can run a dependable service, so we want to move as quickly as possible to do this right,” Syverud said. “[The delays] won’t happen again.”
Syverud is a staff reporter for the Yale Daily News.
Nika Hasegawa ’06 said she was not particularly upset by the delays, and she would continue to use the service in the future.
“I’m sure it was just a fluke,” Hasegawa said. “It happens sometimes.”
Jordan Hanson ’07 used the YCC shuttle service over winter break and said he experienced no problems then. Even after hearing about Sunday’s delays, he said he would still use the service.
“It’s cheap, and it’s convenient. As long as I knew it was there, I would use it, just because it’s convenient,” Hanson said.
Syverud said the YCC service is so popular that the council is looking run shuttles on more days before and after breaks, using vans instead of buses.
“We’ve actually gotten a lot of e-mails from students about providing buses on more than one day,” Syverud said.
The growing popularity of the YCC service may pose a threat to competitor Connecticut Limo, an independent company that runs shuttles to Bradley and other airports. Connecticut Limo may stop offering pick-up and drop-off at Phelps Gate, as it currently does before and after Yale breaks.
“Connecticut Limo, because of our competition, is considering pulling out of services to Yale students,” Syverud said.
Representatives from Connecticut Limo authorized to comment on the issue were unavailable Monday night.