Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

After cancellation, shuttle to return

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate may restart the on-again, off-again Boston Bus Shuttle as soon as Oct. 17, if contract negotiations pan out.

But the service could disappear again quickly if students are not careful.

Peter Pan Bus Lines terminated its contract with the Senate in April, saying that drivers felt uneasy porting the high volume of intoxicated students that took the shuttle.

This semester, the Senate is working out a contract with Joseph's Limousine and Transportation, but Senator Sam Wallis stressed that the change in companies does not equal a change in standards. "We have to be appropriate on the bus," Wallis said.

The talks with Joseph's are close to yielding results. "We're 90 percent of the way there," said Wallis, a sophomore. "We're going to have the service, but we're still working on the contract."

Barring any unexpected road bumps, the Senate will sign an agreement with Joseph's within a few days. "We're hoping to get it running in the next week or so," said TCU President Duncan Pickard, a junior.

The Senate pays for the free shuttle service out of its budget. Wallis said he was not sure how much the Senate will end up spending.

The shuttle will run from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, picking up students from the Boylston and Kenmore T stops and dropping them off at the campus center, and vice versa.

The Senate will have to "work out the kinks" in scheduling once the shuttle starts running, Wallis said.

But he anticipates pickup at the locations will be about once every hour, with the last bus returning to campus at around 3 a.m.

Wallis talked to various bus companies before selecting one, but Joseph's offered the most competitive rate.

Joseph's provides Tufts' Davis Square shuttle and accounts for its nickname, "The Joey."

"We have a very strong working relationship with Joseph's," Wallis said.

The Boston Bus Shuttle has existed since fall 2004 and was originally run through Joseph's.

After the Senate discontinued the shuttle in the fall of last year due to lack of interest and funding, the student government switched to Peter Pan last semester.

Peter Pan then canceled after too many students acted rowdily.

After the shuttle's termination last semester, senators received input from students that spurred them to try to restart the service.

"There's a lot of demand to get this back," Wallis said, mentioning feedback through the Senate's survey and other media.

Pickard agreed. "It's something that we know is very important, and it's something the students appreciate a lot," he said.

The Senate will begin a campaign shortly to let students know that the shuttle is back.

Ben Gittleson contributed reporting to this article.