After proving a popular alternative to Connecticut Limo shuttle service last spring, the Yale College Council will reinstitute a shuttle from Bradley International Airport to Phelps Gate the Sunday after Thanksgiving break.
YCC members met with officials from the University, the state of Connecticut and Connecticut Limo last March to discuss the competition the YCC’s shuttle posed for the limo service, after which both the shuttle and Connecticut Limo decided to continue their services. Connecticut Limo will be forced once again to compete with the cheaper YCC shuttle as students make their way back to campus on Nov. 28.
The YCC began offering its shuttle service to students returning to campus last winter break after receiving complaints from students that Connecticut Limo was too expensive and inconvenient. It chartered three buses to transport students to and from Hartford Jan. 11, March 5 and March 6 last year, the most popular student travel days.
Coming from Bradley, Connecticut Limo stops at multiple locations before arriving at the University, while the YCC shuttle, which caters only to Yale students, makes no additional stops beyond Phelps Gate. YCC representative Steven Syverud ’06, who oversees the shuttle, said the service received a good amount of business last year.
“The folks at Connecticut Limo were hurt a lot by our service, and they came to see if there was any way we could run the shuttle in a way that was less detrimental to their bottom line,” Syverud said. “But we’ve had overwhelming support for our service, and I think people would be very unhappy if we discontinued it at this point.”
Syverud said although the meeting between the YCC and Connecticut Limo was amicable, the two sides were unable to come to a mutual understanding. He said he realizes that Connecticut Limo is in a tough business position because the YCC Shuttle is not-for-profit and does not have to accommodate non-Yale customers.
“We’re running this shuttle not to make money but to serve the maximum benefit of the students,” Syverud said. “Unless Connecticut Limo can meet our price, we don’t see a reason to stop providing this service.”
Connecticut Limo has been providing transportation to Phelps Gate since 1981. Company representative Tara Godfrey said Connecticut Limo has found this service beneficial not only for the company but also in establishing a relationship between Connecticut Limo and Yale.
“We will continue to service Phelps Gate as long as it is favorable for Connecticut Limousine as well as the students,” Godfrey said.
In addition to Bradley International Airport, Connecticut Limo offers transport to Yale from Newark, JFK and La Guardia airports. Although the YCC does not currently offer an alternative service from anywhere other than Hartford, YCC Vice President Chancellor Carlisle ’06 said he has advocated expanding the shuttle service to the New York airports.
“Because of the YCC’s financial state, we cannot yet risk losing a significant amount of money by expanding services,” Carlisle said. “Hopefully in the future, the YCC will have the resources to extend this service to New York [travellers].”
The shuttle will run between 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. every hour and a half the Sunday after Thanksgiving break. Students can make reservations ahead of time or pay at the airport.
Jason Fischer ’06 said he prefers the YCC Shuttle to Connecticut Limo and definitely plans to use it again over Thanksgiving.
“The YCC shuttle is far more convenient, cheaper and more fun to take because it is with Yale people as opposed to a bunch of strangers,” Fischer said. “I see no reason to take Connecticut Limo if the shuttle is already there.”