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Students must give more input for shuttle changes

August signals the end of summer, the return of Carnegie Mellon students to campus, and the Carnegie Mellon Shuttle and Escort Services’ almost annual route changes.

We all long for a little stability when it comes to public transportation, and while it seems that the university’s transportation service is continually seeking to improve itself, it is our right to speak up to improve transit for Carnegie Mellon students.

If you are a student and have been checking your email inbox, you’ll have noticed some new shuttle and escort changes.

The escort service is now arranged into four different color zones instead of neighborhood areas, some stops on Craig Street have been cut due to safety concerns, and the Greenfield neighborhood has been added to the Pittsburgh Technology Center shuttle route.

In theory, all these changes should be positive, helping to improve transportation around campus. But until these theories are put into practice, they have little meaning. These changes, implemented over the summer, will soon face the scrutiny of the students and faculty that use the services.

We have to admit that the shuttle and escort services are often hard and thankless jobs. No matter the changes in service, somebody somewhere will always feel that they are lacking in one way or another. Transportation in Pittsburgh isn’t doing so well as it is, what with the Port Authority struggling along and threatening to cut service left and right.

Regardless, know that Carnegie Mellon welcomes the involvement of its students in important discussions like transportation. We urge you to take advantage of the shuttle and escort services, note the new changes, and — if you feel that something is lacking — speak up. For the past year or so, the university has been holding various meetings about private and public transportation. In addition, student government — and this year’s executive branch in particular — has made a commitment to improving and advocating for better student transportation.

Attending Student Senate meetings or going to student government’s office hours can help you voice your opinions. Getting involved is what truly gets initiatives moving and what will make any transportation changes beneficial and lasting.