The Residential College Express shuttle line returned last week after a summer hiatus that extended nearly two months into the academic year.
The RCE — part of the Yale shuttle system — provides students transport to stops near each of the residential colleges, Old Campus and Yale Health. The shuttle runs only at night, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday night. It begins its route at Pauli Murray College every 20 minutes.
“Yale shuttle routes go all over the University,” said Aiden Lee ’21, a Pauli Murray YCC Senator who developed the route in Feb. 2019. “They go to East Rock; they go to the grad schools. That can be really daunting for undergraduate students to try and navigate, so we wanted to create a shuttle that just runs specifically within Yale College.”
Lee created the shuttle line in response to two issues. For one, he heard complaints from fellow Murray residents who found it difficult to go from Murray to other residential colleges. Secondly, Yale Transit had voiced concerns about the number of students calling Safe Rides, only to cancel due to long wait times. Lee felt the new shuttle could solve both problems, he said.
The RCE ran throughout the spring semester, and then was stopped for the summer when few undergraduates lived in the residential colleges. Six weeks into this semester, the RCE was still not running, so the YCC stepped in and secured the shuttle’s reinstatement.
“Safety and convenience were definitely our main priorities when originally coming up with and rolling out this project,” YCC President Kahlil Greene ’21 wrote in an email to the News. “The YCC is glad to have helped alleviate some of the problems students face when trying to get around campus.”
Aliesa Bahri ’22, the YCC University services director, spearheaded the YCC’s efforts to bring back the line this year. Bahri — who is also in Pauli Murray — said that living in a residential college far from central campus makes easy transit an important issue for her.
Bahri reached out to the University’s Director of Support Services and the Director of Parking and Transit, who she said were “incredibly receptive.” After meeting with Bahri, Yale transit agreed to relaunch the shuttle under the condition that the YCC promote it to the student body. The opening of the shuttle was announced in a YCC email sent out on Oct. 14.
“It is important to me that my peers have convenient mechanisms of exploring Yale, spending time with friends who live further away, and safely returning to their residential colleges during late hours,” Bahri wrote in an email to the News.
Ed Bebyn, Director of Parking and Transit, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The shuttle line serves all undergraduate students, but those who frequent Yale College destinations that are far apart especially benefit from the new line. Cameron Germe ’23, a member of Benjamin Franklin College, said he often studies in Bass Library and must walk home in the dark after it closes.
“[People in the new colleges] are also Yale students and we are kind of far away,” Germe said. “It’s important so that we feel like we can go to the activities that are going on other places without having to worry about the commute.”
The live locations of all Yale shuttles can be traced on the DoubleMap app.
Amelia Davidson | firstname.lastname@example.org