Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bus Schedules

I've written on this topic far too many times. Public transportation is essential to a healthy, thriving city. It is also good for reducing pollution and traffic. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but here in Waterbury our public transportation system is woefully inadequate.

Naugatuck Valley Community College recently put out a press release explaining the need for better transportation for their students, including the following information from a recent survey:
  • 33% of students surveyed have been unable to take a class
    because of difficulty getting to NVCC
  • 48% of students surveyed would use evening bus service to take a
    night class at NVCC
  • 66% of students surveyed report knowing someone who would attend
    evening classes at NVCC if public transportation was available.
They also explain the massive conflict between the bus schedules and their class schedules: "
The college currently offers classes from 6:30 am – 10 pm. Buses stop at the College between 6:40 am and 5:40 pm."

When I was a college student up in Massachusetts, the Five College system (UMass, Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke and Hampshire) actually subsidized the public buses during the school year, so that students could get to classes at any campus for free. 

The current proposed state budget will cut funding to our community colleges by 5.9%, so that involved a collaboration between the area colleges and the bus company is probably out of the question. But surely the bus company would benefit financially from providing better service to the college campuses (not just NVCC) throughout Waterbury. 

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