Students wait as a Lehigh bus arrives at Packer Avenue on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The buses began new routes at the start of the 2016-17 academic year. (Jessica Hicks/B&W Photo)

Senate works to improve transportation around campus

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Student Senate’s Transportation and Facilities Committee released a survey about transportation on campus to hear the input of the entire student body regarding the weekend express bus, Thanksgiving bus options and vehicles geared to transport students off campus.

The committee is working to address the transportation needs of the campus.

“On Student Senate, we want to address the needs of the student body, so we thought the best way to reach our constituents would be to send out a survey and hear directly from them what was lacking at our school, what could be improved on and what’s being done right,” said Hiyab Stefanos, ’16, the committee chair.

In the beginning of each year, Student Senate’s executive board gets together to brainstorm issues that need to be addressed at Lehigh. During this meeting at the start of the Fall 2015 semester, the board members discussed the issues with transportation at Lehigh. This has been the case for the past four years, and there has been a transportation committee for the past four years.

At the end of the Spring 2015 semester, the transportation committee used $20,000 worth of funds accumulated over the past two years to install the bus display on Packer Avenue. The display provides riders with clear and accurate information about when and where the bus will be stopping at each bus stop throughout campus. This bus display has become an asset for the students on Asa Packer Campus.

“I have yet to take my phone out to look at the app or website to look at bus times,” Steven Pileggi, ’18, said. Pileggi is a member of the committee and noticed transportation problems when he first arrived as a first-year student.

The transportation committee also is working to provide various groups and organizations on campus with the opportunity to post advertisements between the bus location map and time stamps on the display screen.

The Packer Avenue bus display is one of transportation committee’s biggest accomplishments, and it still has more short-term goals.

The committee is aware that students frequently talk about weekend buses. This semester, the committee has provided students with a weekend bus route to Mountaintop Campus. Moving forward, the committee would like to used this resource in the most convenient way possible.

On the survey they released, the committee asked, “On which day would you prefer the weekend express bus to run?” and “During which times would you prefer the weekend express bus to run?” These questions are being asked to better the convenience of transportation for Lehigh students.

One of the committee’s short-term goals is to develop a Packer Express bus route that runs on a loop every six minutes.

“The bus routes are too long and are just not frequent enough,” said Stephanie Piscopo, ’16, the secretary for the transportation committee.

This bus will remain on route on Asa Packer Campus to provide convenience for students and faculty who do not venture to Mountaintop Campus.

If the committee accomplishes its short-term goals, the transportation committee’s long-term goals will be more easily implemented. The committee’s ultimate goal is that students will not have to rely on their own cars to transport them on and off campus.

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