The College will continue its pilot transportation shuttle program between its Central and West campuses for the spring 2011 semester, which runs from Jan. 19-May 11. The shuttle enables students to travel back and forth between campuses for classes and activities.
The shuttle pilot was rolled out on Sept. 1, free of charge to the College’s students during the current fall semester. Students can continue to ride the shuttle for free through the spring semester extension.
The College is also adding Fridays to its shuttle schedule for the spring, with five departures per day from each campus between 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., starting and ending at the West Campus in Pottstown.
The shuttle is averaging approximately 115 rides per week at the mid-point of the current fall semester. Extending the pilot for the spring will enable the College to gather more accurate ridership data, as students can plan their spring semester course schedules around the shuttle’s departure times.
The shuttle can accommodate up for 14 passengers, is wheelchair accessible, and is equipped with Wi-Fi. Each run will take 45 to 50 minutes, with rush hour runs taking up to one hour.
The shuttle pilot ties into the College’s Sustainability and Students Success initiatives.
Since signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, the College has put into place policies and procedures that reduce its carbon footprint. The shuttle program has the potential to reduce vehicle usage by up to 3,900 miles daily if the bus operates each trip at full capacity.
Most importantly, the shuttle program will enable students without other means of transportation to enroll in campus-specific courses to which they would otherwise not have access. For example, in the area of Health Sciences, programs such as Radiography and Surgical Technology are only available at the West Campus in Pottstown, while Nursing and Dental Hygiene programs are available only at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.
Riders are expected to observe shuttle etiquette guidelines provided by the College. They must also present a valid student ID and sign in before they board the shuttle. Upon boarding, riders will have the opportunity to reserve seats for their return trips. At this time, College employees are able to ride the shuttle on a space-available basis. Students are strongly encouraged to reserve a seat one day in advance of using the service by visiting http://www.mc3.edu/campuslife/shuttle.
The shuttle pilot is being managed by the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA) in coordination with TransNet Suburban Transit Network, Inc.
The pilot will be evaluated through the remainder of the fall and spring semesters to determine if it will be continued or expanded for fall 2011 based on student and employee demand. If continued, a fee will be assessed to shuttle riders in the future.