On Friday, October 7, the Student Government Senate resumed a September 30 discussion of potential bus route expansions.
Previously, the Senate agreed to expand the weekend bus programs to cover Rochester’s East End in a pilot program lasting from January to May 2012. The route would run on Saturday nights from approximately 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and would encourage safe transportation between RIT and the Rochester nightlife.
While the Senate agreed on providing transportation to the East End, they were divided over creating a new route or adding stops to the RIT weekend shuttle, which runs between RIT and Henrietta’s local shopping district. While adding stops to the shuttle would displace certain stops during night hours, it would eliminate the $20,000 cost to use a separate bus for the test run.
College of Science Senator Wesley Wander expressed concerns that changes to the weekend shuttle could impact student workers at Marketplace Mall, who may be dependent on the route. Wander stated that a route used by student workers should take precedence over a “party bus,” saying, “A bus running that late would be specifically for drinking; nothing else is open [that late] in downtown Rochester.”
Conversely, College of Applied Science and Technology Senator Christian Fortuna expressed concern over where funding for the pilot would originate. SG President Greg Pollock responded, saying RIT has money allocated for various programs like this. However, he also stated that if the test were successful, SG would need to discuss where funding for the permanent route would come from.
In order to decide which option to pursue, SG held two votes. The first was to determine whether RIT should expand bus systems to cover Rochester’s East End, while the second was to decide if a new route should be created instead of amending the weekend shuttle route. Both passed unanimously.