by Emily Vontom, Published February 20, 2012
A new bus route that allows Eastern Michigan University students, faculty and staff to park at Rynearson Stadium and ride for free to campus served more than 32,000 riders during its inaugural semester.
The new route, a collaboration between Eastern and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, was adopted to help students get to campus more easily without having to pay a parking fee. Students and others can park their cars in the lot across from Rynearson Stadium, on Hewitt Road, and then take the bus in without paying to park on campus.
The route, No. 34 in the AATA System schedule, is called the West Campus Shuttle. Passengers are dropped of at Bowen Field House, Halle Library and the Village Residence Hall.
"The new route was created to help ease the cost of parking for students, and offer further options for commuters," said Walter Kraft, vice president of communications at Eastern. "It underscores our interest in helping students, and we're happy with how many people used the new route."
In addition to the new route, Eastern also introduced a new bus pass for students, faculty and staff to utilize other AATA routes. More than 500 of the passes, which offer 30-day unlimited-use, were sold during the fall semester. The passes cost $40, a 30-percent discount off the standard $58 price.
The new bus route and pass program are part of Eastern's efforts to embrace green initiatives and encourage students to drive less and utilize the AATA bus system.
For more information about the Eastern Michigan and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus routes, please visit http://www.theride.org.