Transpo could facilitate SafeBus
Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The Council of Representatives’ pursuit of creating a SafeBus to foster off-campus transportation continued Monday night as members discussed the possibility of using a private bus company to accomplish their goal. After presenting the idea of the Notre Dame SafeBus to the Board of Trustees in October, student body president Adam Istvan took note of the Board’s advice to seek out a private company to provide the bus and assume the liability.At Monday’s meeting Istvan announced to representatives that he and chief executive assistant Dave Baron had met with Transpo, which currently provides bus services to students, and discussed how Transpo might expand their services to provide weekend transportation for students wanting to go off-campus. Transpo, a company that has been looking to increase ridership since last year, was willing to work with student government after learning that the SafeBus was a key goal for his term this year, Istvan said. Baron told representatives the discussion was successful in establishing the needs of the students and how they might be met by Transpo.”We said that the best time to run the bus is Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. We also suggested bringing more daytime routes to campus, to have an express route from campus to downtown with just a few stops along the way,” Baron said.He also noted that students would benefit from having a greater access to downtown resources.”The issue is more than just bars. For students on campus, the Morris Performing Arts Center downtown is a jewel, and they can’t get to it on the weekends,” he said. “Likewise, for students on campus, the Debartolo Performing Arts Center is great, but there is very limited parking.”According to Istvan and Baron, the solution to this problem can be found with the cooperation of Transpo, which Istvan praised for its cleanliness and affordability. Fares were lowered to 25 cents for the months of September and October, and according to Istvan, Transpo is considering permanently lowering the fare to that rate. Nonetheless, a ride for 75 cents is significantly less money that the $2 most students pay for taxi service, Istvan said. “The buses are brand new and really clean. Not to mention students will save a bundle of money. The fare reduction was huge for September and October,” he said.In other COR news:u Zahm Senator Mike McGinley and student body vice president Karla Bell described the results of their meeting with Josh Berlo, who is in charge of basketball ticket sales. McGinley and Bell left the meeting with two firm promises from Berlo. First, Berlo assured them that next year the distribution of tickets will again take place on a Tuesday or Thursday to assure that students with early classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday can still have a chance to purchase tickets, McGinley said. The selling time will be 7 a.m. or earlier. Second, Berlo guaranteed that next year students will only be allowed to purchase four booklets, rather than six, to achieve a greater consistency of student attendance.McGinley also told representatives that Berlo was in favor of delaying putting public tickets on sale until after student tickets have been sold, to allow students who do not buy booklets to purchase tickets for individual games. “Berlo’s only concern was the ‘camping out’ issue, where students spend the night outside the JACC, which can create problems,” he said. To prevent this from happening, Berlo suggested to McGinley and Bell that students would only be allowed to come to the stadium eight hours before tickets go on sale.”There will be continuing dialogue between the student government groups on campus and the ticket office to get changes implemented for next year,” McGinley told representatives. Still, McGinley noted that student attendance is not as high as it once was. This year, 2400 booklets were sold, compared to 4800 sold when Digger Phelps was coaching the Irish. u Representatives approved the addition of a non-voting member from the Diversity Council to COR. Johanna Sioson will attend the meetings but will not be allowed to vote. “Johanna is a great person and has a smart mind. I firmly believe she will add a great voice to COR,” senior class president Darrell Scott said.