With students back on campus after a year of mostly online classes, and with the colder months approaching, having a reliable transportation system around campus and beyond is crucial. Since the start of the semester, all of the transportation services available to students from before the pandemic have returned, along with their accessibility and timeliness issues. 

This board calls on the University to find better ways to organize its transportation system so that students can continue to rely on the services provided. 

Per the Department of Public Safety website, there are two types of on-campus shuttle services: the Daytime Campus Shuttle, which runs on the weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the BranVan, which runs on the weekdays from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and on weekends from noon to 2:30 a.m. Both shuttles run every 15 minutes, making stops all over campus. While the schedules are posted online, students have had issues tracking the shuttles in real-time through the Branda app and Samsara, the official live tracking software used by the University. Without proper live tracking of the location of the shuttles, it is nearly impossible for students to know if the shuttles are late to the marked destinations. Since many students rely on shuttles to get to class, lack of knowledge about potential delays hinders students’ ability to find alternative transportation. 

This board calls on the University to implement better live tracking technology and ensure that students are aware of any issues that prevent the shuttles from arriving on time. This board is also aware that the Department of Public Safety is looking to hire more students to drive the BranVan and urges the Department to continue advertising the position

Students have also noticed issues with the Boston/Cambridge shuttle, which runs from Thursdays to Sundays. This board would like to thank the University for bringing back a useful, free tool for students to explore Boston and Cambridge during the weekends. 

However, the current schedule does not appear to take into account rush hour and traffic, making it difficult for shuttles to arrive on time, and leaving students to wait for over 30 minutes at times. This is especially worrisome late at night when students might not feel safe waiting at the bus stop for extended periods. Not to mention that as the weather gets colder, waiting outdoors will not be as easy. 

This board asks that the University draft schedules that better reflect the traffic patterns in Boston during the weekend so that drivers can arrive at their destinations on time. Additionally, there have been complaints about the way the University communicates shuttle delays with students, which is mostly done through Instagram stories. We ask the University to find a means of communication that is accessible to all students, as some may not have social media or may not have access to their accounts without Wi-Fi. 

Despite hiccups with the transportation system, we ask students to be kind and respectful to shuttle drivers who are not to blame for any problems with the system and work tirelessly to ensure students can get around safely. 

We would also like to thank the students who are part of the Branda team for continuing to work on incorporating useful features to help students navigate campus and beyond.