Starting this week, Yale College students will no longer have to make the long journey to the new residential colleges when coming home late.
On Thursday morning, the Yale College Council announced the creation of a new, late-night shuttle line that will run in conjunction with Yale’s existing shuttle system. The line, called the “Residential College Express,” will operate every evening and have stops at Old Campus, Yale Health and some residential colleges. Also referred to as “the black line,” the Express will operate in 15-minute intervals along seven locations. While the buses will not stop next to every residential college, a common site — such as 130 Prospect St. for both Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges — will serve as a bus stop for multiple. The route will run from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends. Before the implementation of the new line, the only services offered to Yale College students who wanted to travel at night were Nighttime Shuttle Safe Rides and walking escorts.
The new shuttle route is the first to exclusively cater to Yale College students, according to the YCC announcement. The other existing lines stop at various locations geared toward Yale’s many professional schools, such as the School of Medicine. Despite their previous comments, the YCC members leading the initiative — University Services Director Ryley Constable ’21, Vice President Heidi Dong ’20 and Senator Aiden Lee ’21 —said that this route will actually benefit the entire Yale community.
“We think this change will improve Safe Rides for everyone, because if more Yale College students are using this line, it’s fewer people who are using Safe Rides,” Dong said. “Which means the graduate professional students will have shorter wait times [for their Safe Rides].”
Dong said that the YCC was motivated to start the Residential College Express in part because of timing issues with Safe Rides. Yale’s page on Safe Rides recommends requesting “the service at least 30 minutes prior to the intended departure time and even earlier during high-demand hours.” Dong added that students frequently cancel ride
Lee, who represents Pauli Murray in the YCC, said that the new shuttle line was created in response to student concerns.
“This is just another example of the fact that students were dissatisfied with something on campus, and we heard this feedback,” YCC President Sal Rao ’20 said. “We thought constructively on how we could solve this problem, and it’s not a demand we filled two years or three years down the line, but something in a matter of months. It’s actionable change.”
Still, some students interviewed by the News were conflicted about the efficacy of the new shuttle line.
John Kim ’22, who lives in Pauli Murray, said that he was concerned about the route having specific pick-up locations.
“Safe Ride picks me up where I want them to pick me up, whereas the shuttle would have designated locations,” Kim told the News.
Osama Gedeon ’22, who lives in Benjamin Franklin, also expressed concern about the new line’s timeliness and said that he does not think that he will use the Residential College Express.
“I prefer the other lines because it goes right from Franklin back to Old Campus. I could have walked by the time the new route goes around all the colleges,” Gedeon said.
But another student, Vishnu Sriram ’22, called the new line “pretty clutch.”
The new shuttle route can be viewed in real time through the app DoubleMap.
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