Stop & Shop shuttle returns due to student interest
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 02:09
The Stop & Shop shuttle, which offers transportation from campus to the market’s Fellsway Plaza location, is back for a second year after the supermarket chain determined there was enough student interest.
Following the shuttle’s first trip of the year on Wednesday, Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate Services Committee Chair Christie Maciejewski, who facilitates the shuttle service, said she was glad to see the service return to campus after its debut last spring.
“I’m really excited it’s happening again,” Maciejewski, a senior, said. “We did it last semester, and that was kind of our test run.”
Stop & Shop last semester agreed to finance a shuttle for student use as long as there was enough interest in the Tufts community, according to Maciejewski. After evaluating the shuttle’s success, the supermarket decided to extend the service to this year, TCU Parliamentarian Brian Tesser, who helped lead the project last year, said.
“For now, at least, it’s up to Stop & Shop how long [the shuttle] stays, because they’re the ones funding it, and if they at any point decide to end it, we sort of have to just go from there,” Tesser, a sophomore, said. “But I don’t think they will anytime soon because it’s based on a lot of extra business that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
The shuttle, operated by Joseph’s Transportation, runs biweekly on Wednesday and Thursday nights, departing from the upper patio of the Mayer Campus Center at 7:45 p.m. and returning to campus at 9:45 p.m.
Maciejewski said she heard a significant amount of positive feedback about the shuttle last semester.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they’re glad it’s here now,” she said. “It’s something that they did need, and people say that it’s been convenient for them.”
Although she has already posted on TuftsLife and emailed the student body about the shuttle, Maciejewski plans to advertise the shuttle more in order to increase ridership.
She said she is not concerned about garnering enough interest from the student body since in the past she has heard students complain that there was no nearby supermarket to buy fresh food from.
“I think Tufts is an especially good school to market to because we do have an emphasis on eating well and staying healthy,” Maciejewski said.
To occupy the two-hour time span between the shuttle’s departure and arrival times, Maciejewski encouraged students to check out the many other stores in Stop & Shop’s vicinity, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ocean State Job Lot, Off Broadway Shoes and Outback Steakhouse.
“Of course because Stop & Shop is paying for it, we are hoping people will actually be buying something [at the supermarket],” she said. “I think they understand that these kids aren’t spending $200 a week on groceries, but if they go in and spend $10 for a couple items and then decide to go out to dinner somewhere else, that works in everyone’s interest.”
Maciejewski explained that the contract between Tufts and Stop & Shop began when the university found out Stop & Shop offered a shuttle service for Charlestown residents. In the time that the Charlestown residents shopped in the supermarket, the shuttle would just wait in the parking lot.
“It was in Stop & Shop’s interest to have them go get more people during that time, so we were able to convince them that there would be people from Tufts,” Maciejewski said.