BY KENI CAMPBELL
For the UAS Whalesong
A new Juneau campus shuttle program has launched this semester, providing services between the Auke Lake campus, Anderson Building, Student Housing, and Recreation Center. The shuttle service is designed to improve safety for students, while also improving the ability to move between classes during a short passing period and access to campus services.
The shuttle runs Mondays from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each hour the service loops twice, starting at Student Housing and running to the main campus, Recreation Center, Anderson building, back to the Recreation Center, main campus, and finally Student Housing.
A shuttle tracker app can be downloaded to smart-devices by searching for “ride systems” and choosing University of Alaska Southeast from the list of available options. This tracker provides up-to-date information on the location of the campus shuttle at any given time. This information can also be found online at http://uas.ridesystems.net. With its fast schedule, the shuttle is almost always on the move. This means that there almost no waiting for the bus to leave. It also means that the shuttle tracker is an essential tool to make sure folks catch it as it comes by.
Part of the imperative to try a shuttle service now stems from the upcoming road realignment in the Auke Bay area and how this may impact access and safety. UAS will carefully monitor the success of the shuttle program over the next two years to help shape any long-term strategy. As this is a pilot program, there will be multiple opportunities for campus stakeholders to provide feedback on how the program might be improved.
UAS has contracted with First Student to provide drivers, and currently a short yellow school bus is being used while the contract is being finalized. Soon this will switch to use of an existing wheelchair-accessible UAS vehicle.
Michael Ciri, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services commented, “I would like to say a big thank-you for all the support and patience. This is definitely a work in progress and we will be focusing on developing a strong, reliable system. I a.m. confident that the work folks are putting in now will pay big dividends once the fall and winter weather sets in.” Full information about the shuttle can be found at http://uas.alaska.edu/juneau/shuttle.html.