Pilot Program Lets City Residents Ride Free Shuttle-UM


File this under “Who Knew?” The City of College Park and the University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) have a pilot program underway that allows city residents to utilize the FREE Shuttle-UM service. This program is funded via a $5000 payment to DOTS each semester. So far only 135 residents have registered for the free service. In order to take advantage of this pilot program residents must fill out and submit this Application to city hall. Since this is a pilot program DOTS is tracking riders and therefore residents are encouraged to notify bus drivers of their presence and have them call it in to dispatch. There has been some press lately in the Diamondback about the number of riders so it is important that each rider is counted.

So if you are a City Resident please take advantage of this service. Shuttle-UM routes go pretty far and wide so ditch the gas guzzler and save a buck or two. Did we mention that the service is FREE? Who doesn’t like free?

3 thoughts on “Pilot Program Lets City Residents Ride Free Shuttle-UM”

  1. Has there been a push to involve other towns? The Shuttles go through various other towns but Hyattsville, RP, UP, BH and Greenbelt come to mind and would broaden the utility of the program , with little change in infrastructure.

  2. Interesting. The University of Iowa’s campus shuttle system CAMBUS is free and open to the public. Since the campus is adjacent with downtown Iowa City many non-students use the system in additional to city-operated Iowa City Transit and nearby Coralville Transit. Alternatively CYRIDE, serving the City of Ames, IA and Iowa State University, is jointly funded by the city and ISU student body. The general public pays a fare but students ride unlimited for free on all routes throughout town, not just around campus.

    Any idea why College Park and DOTS is trying this? Just looking for more ridership or is there a real demand in the city for local transit service that is not being provided sufficiently by WMATA?

  3. The legislation passed in Annapolis calls for a two year trial basis for the City residents to use the shuttle. The legislation is limited to City residents for now. The legislation the City requested is not the legislation that became law, which is not unusual for Annapolis.

    Demand for the service by City residents (non-student) is limited now. In five years there could be a four or five thousand people living in apartments along shuttle routes in College Park. (Wyngate & Camden, to the north near Ikea; JPI East and West at Cherokee Street; and the Mosaic and the Domain, south of the University; and market rate housing at East Campus.

    WMATA has at least three problems. Routes generally feed Metro Stations and may not be helpful for short hauls around the City, especially north/south. Bus are not very frequent at non rush hour times. Metro routes can fall far behind schedule because of breakdowns or traffic issues which may not be in College Park.

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