On March 12, an announcement was made that the intercampus shuttle service of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) will no longer be in service after May 22, 2015. This has caused students, faculty and staff to wonder why this change was made and how people can get between the different ACTC schools. Curt Galloway of the Student and Affairs Office recently explained the reasoning behind the decision and possible ways that students, faculty and staff can reach their destinations without the bus.
The decision to stop the ACTC bus was a joint effort between all the ACTC schools. The bus was costing each school a lot of money that they feel was not going to a completely beneficial cause. The schools also feel that there are better ways for people to get around without using the ACTC bus.
“I think the perception is that we have a well-developed bus transportation system between all sorts of places in the Twin Cities area including the different schools,” Galloway said.
A committee made up of several people, including Mark Johnson, Director of Public Safety, Kerri Carlson, Director of Admissions, and staff members from the Registrar’s Office and Residence Life are working to resolve the issue of how people are going to get to their destinations without the bus.
“We’re exploring different alternatives and some of them include recreating our own shuttle system. I do not think that it would go to the same routes that we would go before. Most likely, it would run from [the St. Paul campus], probably to St. Thomas…and then go to our Minneapolis campus,” Galloway explained.
Another option that the committee has explored is subsidizing Metro Transit bus passes. HOURCAR and Car2Go are other secondary options, while cabs are another possibility.
The ACTC bus has been a convenient, free way for students, faculty and staff to reach different destinations in the Twin Cities, whether it was another campus or a job. Amanda McDonald ’17, is disappointed that the ACTC bus will not be in service next year.
“I will be taking a class in the fall at Hamline. The ACTC bus was so convenient and it wasn’t hard to figure out how to plan around the bus’s departure times. Most of all, it was free. With the cancelling of the bus service, I will have to change the way I planned to take my classes, and I’ll have to find a new mode of transportation. I’m fine with public transportation, but after a while, it gets costly, and I’m concerned about those fees along with tuition and the other fees you have to pay for at St. Kate’s,” McDonald said.
Sarah Schultz ’17 is another ACTC student who will be in band at the University of St. Thomas in the fall.
“I’m very disappointed about the closure of the ACTC bus system. The public bus system is an option, but walking to and from stops lugging an instrument and then depending on the inconsistent schedule would be troublesome. I’m afraid options like renting a car or calling a taxi would be too expensive for me,” Schultz said.
Students, faculty and staff have also made suggestions of ways that people can get around without the ACTC bus, such as making better bike lanes and collaborating with the University of St. Thomas’s bus system.
“Most of those are ones we were already considering,” Galloway said. “The greatest sentiment that’s been expressed is concerns about…convenience, about safety, and about cost.”
While the committee has not yet made a final decision about alternatives for the ACTC bus, there are many options being considered. Stay tuned to hear about what the committee decides regarding how people can reach their destinations next fall.