By STEPHEN M. SALISBURY
Getting around the city has become a lot easier, and cheaper, for the students, faculty and staff at IU South Bend. In a partnership that began on August 6, anyone with a valid CrimsonCard can now ride any Transpo route at any time the buses are running free of cost. This should make it easier for those who use the local public transit system, or who might like to, to get to campus whenever necessary while also providing benefits environmentally.
According to the company website, “The South Bend Public Transportation Corporation’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, convenient and comfortable transportation services…using cost-effective approaches…to both customer’s needs and the environment.”
As IU South Bend Interim Chancellor Jann Joseph stated in a recent press release announcing the new partnership, she hopes “students, faculty and staff will take advantage of this program. It can save money, improve parking on campus and reduce emissions from vehicle traffic.”
In the press release, Transpo reminded readers that “Transpo’s Route 9 runs between South Bend and Mishawaka with stops at IU South Bend every 30 minutes Monday through Friday and hourly on Saturday.”
A company spokesperson confirmed that riders with their IU South Bend identification card can ride the buses for free on any route to any location, any time.
This service has been available to students at many of the other area college campuses for many years.
The Federal Transit Administration, which is a division of the Department of Transportation, states on their website that “transportation accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. By moving more people with fewer vehicles, public transportation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. National averages demonstrate that public transportation produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private vehicles.”
Transpo has been an area leader in innovative approaches to environmental concerns. In recent years, the company has converted to using compressed natural gas to fuel its buses.
The partnership with IU South Bend will run through December 31 and then will be re-evaluated. If it is determined that enough users are taking advantage of the program, there is an option to extend the relationship.