UMass Dartmouth and SRTA sign bus pass agreement
UMass Dartmouth and SRTA, the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, signed a "Rideshare Program" agreement Thursday (February 20) that provides an incentive for UMass Dartmouth students to use the regional public transportation system.
The agreement, signed by Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack and Mr. Louis Pettine, SRTA administrator, makes available the $50 monthly bus pass to all university students. The pass allows students unlimited bus service on SRTA's regular fixed routes in 10 Southeastern Massachusetts communities from Swansea to Fairhaven.
In addition to making the $50 pass available for sale on campus, the university also prepared colorful bus route brochures and maps to call attention to the new service.
Typically, the one-way fare to the New Bedford terminal is $2, Fall River terminal $3, and the NorthDartmouthMall $1.
Chancellor MacCormack said, "This agreement gives students affordable, convenient transportation to our satellite campuses in New Bedford and Fall River, as well as to our partners at BCC and Southern New England School of Law. It also has real potential to improve the environment by reducing the numbers of cars coming to campus, which we are obliged to work towards by the Department of Environmental Protection."
The RideShare Program is a mandate from the DEP, which requires the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to put forth a "good faith effort" toward reducing single-occupancy vehicles by 25 percent.
"This agreement is good for both institutions," Pettine said. "SRTA's service to UMass Dartmouth is under-utilized, but with the growing numbers of students at the university and all of the cultural attractions in the area, we see a real potential to attract new riders in UMass Dartmouth students."
UMD Police Chief Mark Porter and Rideshare Program coordinator Simon Desjardins, a senior music major, developed the agreement with SRTA.
Porter said he sees the agreement "as an opportunity to better serve students and as a practical solution the university's constant issues with traffic and parking. "
Desjardin, who got involved with this public service initiative after a stint in student government, said, "this was a fantastic experience for a student to have."