A bus that shuttles students between five private college campuses is too costly to run and redundant, says the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC), so it’s eliminating the service when the school year ends in May.
But officials at the five member schools — Hamline University, St. Catherine University, the University of St. Thomas, and Augsburg and Macalester colleges — say they remain committed to providing transportation for students who attend one school but take classes at another.
“Between improved local bus routes, the LRT Green and Blue Lines, and ever-growing car and bike-sharing availability, our students, faculty and staff have more options than ever to get between ACTC campuses and around the Twin Cities,” said an e-mail sent earlier this month to students.
Katie Bowden, a junior who takes classes at both St. Catherine and St. Thomas, said she doesn’t like the idea. Bowden said the shuttle provides a fast and convenient way for students to get between campuses without having to transfer to multiple buses. Without the shuttle, travel times will increase, she said, and so will out-of-pocket expenses. A Metro Transit pass costs students $175 a semester. The shuttle is covered by tuition.
“Students at St. Kate’s are really upset,” said Bowden, who is fighting to get the shuttle reinstated. “I want to get to my classes that I pay for on time.”
Ending the shuttle was a decision made by the schools, said Carole Chabries, ACTC’s executive director.
Eliminating the shuttle led to discussions on how to meet other transport needs, such as getting students to internships, jobs, appointments and community service projects, said Curt Galloway, dean of student affairs at St. Catherine.
“Transportation needs are crucial,” Galloway said. “We are exploring what options we have and what we can do. We will have something in place by the fall.”