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Editorial | Request shuttle for smooth travels during Red Line closure

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 08:11

For the four weekends of Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will be suspending Red Line service between Harvard and Alewife for repairs. Among those adversely affected by the reduced service are Davis Square commuters, many of whom are Tufts students.

Last year, when service was similarly suspended, both the MBTA and Facilities Services provided shuttle buses to Harvard Square. This year, however, Director of Facilities Services Bob Burns told the Daily in its Nov. 1 article, “Red Line from Harvard to Alewife to close for four weekends,” that such a shuttle is not planned to be provided by Facilities. While he acknowledged that the shuttle is an expensive undertaking and that the context of the shuttle will be different — last fall, Red Line service was interrupted for three months — he also said students expressing the need for such a shuttle would be an important factor in reevaluating that decision.

Masses of students take the T daily, be it for classes like commuters or dual−degree students, for work or for fun. Though the repairs are being performed on weekends and affect fewer people generally, thereby less Tufts students, that does not mean that the service does not affect them.

Of particular concern is the weekend of Nov. 24, or the weekend after Thanksgiving. Many students will be returning from home by bus, train or plane, and will need to take the T back to Tufts. If service is unavailable after Harvard, this shutdown has the potential to seriously disrupt students’ travel plans. To get to Tufts from either South Station or Logan Airport without the T, students would be stuck paying for expensive cabs. While the MBTA tends to provide shuttle buses of its own between closed stations during repairs, those buses fill up quickly and the weekend after Thanksgiving will be extremely hectic with fleets of college students and residents returning to the Boston area. It would be much more efficient for traveling Tufts students to have a shuttle all their own.

In the Daily article, Burns said he had not received any requests from students requesting a similar service. We encourage any student who needs the shuttle or who feels the shuttle would be useful to contact Facilities and demonstrate the interest they have deemed necessary to reconsider running the shuttle.

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