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Student Government Column: Business Affairs tackles student transportation concerns in Pittsburgh

The Business Affairs (BA) committee of Student Senate is looking to improve the transportation options that are available to Carnegie Mellon students this semester. Student Senate currently helps fund the Shuttle System that helps get students living off campus to class and back in a convenient, safe, and reliable manner, and is currently focusing its efforts on increasing its usage. It is currently working with the Communications Committee to provide students with easy-to-understand flyers on the lines and stops that are available to them as a way to make this transportation option more accessible to the student body.

Once it can facilitate heavier student usage of the Shuttle System, Business Affairs hopes to increase its scope in terms of the number of stops, frequency, and the number of buses in the future to make this transportation option even more convenient for students.

To keep students safe, Business Affairs is also working to ensure more students are aware of and understand how to use the Escort System as a way to get to on and off-campus residences at night. This is a safer alternative to walking home and can help reduce the risk of robbery and assault. It is currently collaborating with the Communications and Campus Life Committees to create flyers as a convenient resource for students to refer to for information on procedures, zones, and times relating to Escort System use.

Business Affairs has also been working with the Parking and Transportation Services and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority to help fix unclear signs on handicapped parking spaces on Frew and Tech Streets behind Hunt Library and Baker Hall. Carnegie Mellon students have been regularly issued citations on these streets in the past despite the handicapped spaces not being properly marked according to the city code, and the committee is working with Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh authorities to resolve this problem.

This is not the first time Business Affairs has advocated to Parking and Transportation Services on the students’ behalf. Last semester, the committee brought a representative to our General Body Meeting to speak on proposed fees on night and weekend parking. Due to Senate’s concerns on the issue in terms of safety and financial strain on students, night and weekend parking was kept free for members of the campus community.

By increasing the scope of the Shuttle System, addressing sign issues in Pittsburgh, as well as expanding awareness and use of the Escort System, Business Affairs is improving the student experience by making transportation more convenient, safe, and reliable to all members of campus.

To learn more or to get involved in these initiatives, contact Richard Hoffberg at business-affairs@cmusenate.org or attend Business Affairs' meetings, which are open to the public from 5:30 to6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Cohon Center 329.

For more information on the Shuttle System, Escort System, maps, and timings visit cmu.edu/police/shuttleandescort/ and get live updates at twitter.com/andysbuses.