Yalies in need of groceries or a late-night slice of pizza can now use Yale Transit’s new set of weekend shuttle routes, which were developed in conjunction with the Yale College Council.
YCC President Brandon Levin ’13 said the council began talks with transit officials in April and continued planning through the summer, working to adjust the routes to reflect where students go most often. Weekend shuttles now operate on two schedules: A daytime route visits distant off-campus locations such as Stop & Shop, while a nighttime route will transport students among popular weekend hangouts, such as Gourmet Heaven on Broadway and Alpha Delta Pizza on Elm Street, with a central drop-off point at Phelps Gate on Old Campus.
“We see this as a huge step forward in transit,” Levin said. “The numbers suggest it already has had a great impact on students, and we think it will continue to improve.”
During the week, the shuttle runs between residential areas of campus and classroom buildings and up Science Hill. Until last fall, a weekend shuttle ran to Shaw’s grocery market, in the location now occupied by Stop & Shop, but when that store closed the route was discontinued, said YCC Vice President Omar Njie ’13, who is spearheading the YCC-Yale Transit initiative.
Njie said the YCC decided to approach Yale Transit because it had received many requests for weekend routes from students, adding that the council designed the daytime routes with off-campus Yalies in mind.
“We have heard pleas for new shuttle routes numerous times,” Njie said. “Since [off-campus students] are one of the main groups who use the shuttle, we wanted to address their concerns … by having Stop & Shop be on the new daytime, weekend route.”
Still, the nighttime route will not begin until the weather turns colder, Njie said, and is intended to keep students from spending too much time outside on winter nights. The after-dark routes will also allow Yalies to skip over streets where muggings and other crimes sometimes occur, he said.
Njie said the YCC will meet with the Yale Transit Authority in two weeks to finalize the routes and decide when the night shuttle will start running.
Of eight students interviewed about the new shuttle routes, three were not aware of the changes. Three said they frequently use the shuttle and are satisfied with its service, while two said they have found the shuttle is sometimes late or overcrowded.
Sylvia Zhang ’15 said that while the routes shuttles follow are useful, their timeliness often leaves something to be desired, especially on Science Hill during the week.
“I was on a shuttle that was 15 minutes late,” she said. “If the shuttle is 15 minutes late and it’s supposed to get you from place to place in a 15-minute break between classes, what’s the point of a shuttle?”
Linda Sapanski GRD ’14, echoed those sentiments, adding that the crowds on Science Hill shuttles often pose a problem as well. If the shuttle is too full, it does not stop to pick her up, she said, adding that she was once 40 minutes late to work as a result.
Njie said the YCC is working to address such concerns, and will talk to Yale Transit about instituting more frequent service in oversubscribed areas.
To view complete maps and track the shuttles in real time, visit http://ycc.yale.edu/announcing-new-transit-route.