A new shuttle stop on the Blue, Orange and Yellow lines will allow students to travel with ease between dormitories and cultural centers.
The Yale College Council announced the new bus stop, located at the intersection of York and Crown Streets, last week. The stop is meant to specifically drop students off near the Asian American Cultural Center, Native American Cultural Center, La Casa and the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media. Students travelling from Yale’s fourth cultural center —the Afro-American Cultural Center — can use the existing 180 York St. bus stop, which is part of the Yale shuttle system.
“The cultural centers can be and are meaningful resources that profoundly impact the lives of students at Yale,” wrote YCC University Services Director Aliesa Bahri ’22 in an email to the News. “Personally, South Asian Society and the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) have been invaluable to my undergraduate experience — I could not imagine my life at Yale without these institutions and my compassionate friends that lead them.”
Bahri emphasized the importance of increasing the cultural centers’ accessibility, “particularly for students in Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin [colleges].” AACC Director Dean Joliana Yee echoed Bahri, adding that the cultural centers “as a university resource should be as accessible as possible,” regardless of where students live, work or go to class.
According to Yee, AACC peer liaisons for Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray told her that encouraging first years to attend AACC events was difficult, given the long walk from Science Hill and the cold weather in the winter. She added that she was concerned when students told her they used ride share services like Uber or Lyft to return home late at night.
“While SafeWalk and SafeRide are existing options Yale has available that we often encouraged students to use, I just didn’t understand why existing Yale shuttle routes were not already serving populations of students who utilized La Casa Cultural, AACC and NACC,” Yee said.
YCC’s email regarding the announcement wrote that the new shuttle stop provides easier access to the cultural centers than the current stop. YCC President Kahlil Greene ’21 said that prior to this stop, “there was no bus stop that catered to these specific locations.”
According to Bahri, Yee expressed “her hope for a closer shuttle stop” to the YCC and subsequently, Bahri reached out to Director of Student Services Don Relihan and Director of Parking and Transit Ed Bebyn.
“They were incredibly receptive to this idea and incorporated the new bus stop into three shuttle routes,” Bahri said.
Bebyn said adding new shuttle stops is “extremely simple.” First, he said, he works with the general manager of First Transit — the company that operates Yale’s transit service — to verify that all drivers are “properly trained” and aware of new stops. Then, they add the stop on the shuttle locator app “DoubleMap” to reflect the changes to existing routes. They then update the drivers’ logs to coordinate the new pathway.
During Bebyn’s 39 years at Yale, he said that he has enjoyed collaborating with student groups. He noted that sometimes students’ requests are “not always … doable or reasonable.” Still, he said that despite logistical difficulties he has always “found students to be committed to their cause or committee.”
“As an administrator or manager I have always been treated with respect even when I have had to say no and explain why,” Bebyn said. “And ultimately when requests were reasonable and achievable, we collectively have had success just as we expect with this collaboration.”
According to Greene, the Black Line shuttle has been confirmed to return this semester. The Black Line was created last year by the YCC as a residential shuttle line for each college.
The new shuttle stop can be viewed by using the DoubleMap app.
Alayna Lee | firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction, Oct. 12: A previous version of the article said the YCC is currently advocating for the Black Line shuttle to return. After publication of the story, Greene said the Black Line Shuttle has already been confirmed this year.