Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the additional shuttle would be funded through ASUSF Senate reserves. This information was incorrectly provided to the Foghorn by ASUSF. The shuttle would be funded through Transportation Fee reserves.
ASUSF Senate, the student government group on campus, saw a problem in the Loyola Village parking garage: of the four Public Safety shuttles parked, only one is used each day to transport students, staff and faculty with disabilities.
This causes an average wait time of 30 minutes, and Senate was not the only group to see a problem. Last year’s results from the campus climate survey had many recommendations to make advancements in accessibility for the campus community.
After speaking with Student Disability Services (SDS) Director Tom Merrell, Senate’s Students With Disabilities Representative Anthony Levaggi decided to work with other members of Senate to propose a referendum to utilize an additional shuttle for daytime disability use.
“When you think about how inaccessible the city is in general, and how students with physical disabilities or limited abilities have just as compacted schedules as other folks, the wait time of 30 minutes is really bad,” Senate President Sage Hapke said.
“Those who require the [proposed] shuttle won’t have to build their class schedule with gaps to incorporate a long waiting period for the shuttle, and will have more options to move around campus more freely,” Levaggi said.
The second shuttle would be funded by the Transportation Fee reserves for its first year in operation. After that, they would recommend that the University funds the costs of the extra car. The Transportation Fee, which covers student Muni passes, is $290 per year for each undergraduate. Any money left over is put into a reserve fund.
It will require $34,000 to fund an additional shuttle. This includes the costs of staffing drivers, fuel and vehicle maintenance, according to Public Safety operations manager Staci Hoell.
Public Safety supports Senate’s proposal, Hoell said. If the referendum passes through a Senate vote on Feb. 19, it will be added to the school-wide ballot in April.
The additional shuttle would follow the same hours as the current one: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Passengers must first be approved by SDS and human resources, Hoell said.
ASUSF Senator Jordan Davis, a junior mathematics major, fits the criteria for the shuttle but has never used it because of the wait time.
“I would procrastinate leaving my room just to emotionally prepare myself for the climb [up Lone Mountain],” Davis said. “I have POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which means my blood vessels don’t constrict well when I stand, and my blood pressure drop. Students with invisible physical disabilities have to deal with the physical strain that comes with having a class in LoMo. I am a math major, so it’s unusual for me to have classes up there, but others aren’t so lucky.”