Us vs. Them!

Is Wesleyan's transportation system competitive with peer institutions?

A little web digging and a lot of assistance from the pioneering Estrella Lopez '07 and Zach Blau '09 reveals that Williams offers shuttle service to New York ($26 one-way), Boston ($16), and Albany before breaks, while Amherst has a fleet of hybrid University-owned cars available for student rental, an account with ZipCar, and 3-4 Peter Pan buses to major cities every day (3 to NY, 4 to Boston, and additional weekend times). Bard provides students with free Saturday shuttle service to nearby malls, plus access to $1 tickets on the Duchess County bus to the Poughkeepsie Metro-North (located 40 minutes away from campus - sounds kind of like New Haven). Tufts students get free Friday-Saturday shuttle service into Boston from 9pm-3am, plus access to ZipCar for a reduced rate. Trinity has an entirely student-run shuttle service that runs through Hartford in the evening, all week. But the winner is Bates, with $10 bus service to Boston once a month (that's a 2.5 hour trip!!), FREE weekend shuttle service to nearby malls, a deal with ZipCar, a fleet of rentable on-campus vehicles, and a BIKE CO-OP. What? Amazing! It can't help you get to New Haven, but it would prepare you for an extended adolescence in Brooklyn AND make you fit and healthy and keep the air clean! (photo, Bates' Bike Co-op fleet)

For...fun? Here is a link to the American Public Transportation Association's report titled "Public Transportation's Contribution to Greenhouse Gas Reduction". EON enthusiasts may be interested - and may want to recruit an EnviroScience major to decipher some of the graphs.

Because that's what I do for fun.
Eat up that Thanksgiving bird...

Come on down.

Big thanks to Alex and Wesleying for linking us up this week - 170 unique visitors looked at our Transportation Breakdown post on Monday alone! Hope we helped some of you find a ride - or at least introduced you to the labyrinthine world of Middletown transit.

Love to Wesleying, Wesleyan, and to all a good night.

Update - Meeting with Patton / Meyer!

Monday, November 19  - Members of SAFT on the WSA New Haven Shuttle Committee met with Vice President Peter Patton and Public Safety Chief Dave Meyer to present a list of suggestions on how to improve the transportation system at Wesleyan. Among other issues discussed were:

- Additional trips to/from New Haven on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
- bus to DATTCO station 3 times daily during finals week
- Online booking for shuttle tickets
- $12 New Haven tix, as discussed by Tran. Services / Estrella Lopez '07
- Re-opening the ZipCar discussion
- installing signs at the Box Office about shuttle tix

Patton and Meyer tentatively agreed to many of these proposals. Once a final decision is reached, a full list of approved changes will be published!

Apparently, President Roth independently raised the issue of transportation costs in an open meeting in Hewitt. Awesome! We'd love to have Roth drop by for crepes and a chat one Monday night. Maybe in the near future...



We are meeting at 6:30pm today in the University Organizing Center at 162 Church Street (see map at right). This week we will form committees to address different initiatives, which currently include:

- ZipCar!
- our demands for the Wesleyan Shuttle
- a proposal for Vice President Peter Patton
- raising awareness about Wesleyan transportation - both its existence, and it's current flaws

Patton has clearly stated to WSA that THE SCHOOL WILL PRIORITIZE TRANSPORTATION in the Annual Strategy if students express sufficient interest. We need to prove that students care about this issue! Bring friends and ideas (about issues we have or haven't thought of yet). Maybe I'll make a train cake (see above left). See you there...


A little link update for this week...

Alexandra Provo '10 sends in this helpful link to the surprisingly exhaustive Wesleyan University Transportation site in the "For Parents" section [LINK]. Much of the information here was included in the "Transportation Breakdown" last week - besides the stuff about the Meriden Amtrak shuttle. Apparently, students can reserve shuttles to Meriden or New Haven 3 days in advance, at flat rates of $25 and $50 per trip (rather than per person) - in other words, the cost may be split among riders. Seems like a pretty good deal; information to follow about how many riders fit per ride. Call 860.685.3788 to reserve.

Kin Yan Chew '09 has designed an unofficial Wesleyan Ride Board. Check it out.

Layne Flower '11 has started the already popular "Wes People Who Want To Get To Non-Wes Places" Facebook ridesharing group. 


Transportation: A Breakdown

There are multiple modes of transportation available to residents of Middletown, Connecticut - none of which completely fulfill the needs of the average Wesleyan student. For now, though, they're all we have. For links to each of their official sites and route maps, see "Escape Routes" in the sidebar. Also, check the SAFT Calendar of arrival and departure times at the bottom of this page (we are unaffiliated with these companies, of course, so can't be held responsible for schedule changes or inaccuracies). Below, I have outlined your current options as well as I know them, including the schedule, route, and cost of each. Before we begin, some keywords you should know: MAT is "Middletown Area Transit". The MAT Station is at 340 Main St. in Middletown (map).

Taxi / Limo
There are two major taxi companies that serve Middletown. These are Executive 2000 and Hunter Limousines. They will pick you up and drop you off anywhere. Executive charges about $2.50 per mile, while Hunter charges a wopping $78.75 to and from Meriden (they're a "private limo service", not a taxi company).

Middletown's buses seem to cater to drivers who need to save on gas, elderly residents, and stay-at-home parents, rather than students. Below are the current bus systems that serve Middletown, as well as our very own New Haven Shuttle:
The M-Link
Route A loop between the MAT station and Meriden, CT, with stops at Westfield Shoppingtown and the Amtrak Station.
Schedule 6:30am-4:45pm, on the :30 of every hour until 2:30, plus two final buses at 3:45pm and 4:45pm. 4 departures on Saturday. No service evenings or Sunday.
Cost $1.25 one-way, with free transfer to CT Transit.
CT Transit U-Line
Route Runs between Middletown, including the MAT Station, and multiple stops in Downtown Hartford, with a stop in Cromwell Center (route map).
Schedule 16-17 arrivals and departures weekdays from 5:40am-7:12pm. No service Saturday or Sunday.
Cost $1.25 one-way, with free transfer upon exit by request.
DATTCO New Haven / Hartford Express
Route From New Haven Union Station to Downtown Hartford and Union Station Hartford, with a stop at the Middletown Park & Ride Lot (map) - about 10 minutes away from campus by car.
Schedule 3 departures per day on weekdays; no service Saturday or Sunday.
Cost $4.35 one-way
Peter Pan Buslines
Route From Middletown to New York, New Haven, Hartford, and Boston.
Schedule To New York/ New Haven - 4:40pm Sundays, return Fridays. To Hartford / Boston - 4:55pm Sundays, return Fridays.
Cost $12 one-way to New Haven; $12.50 to Hartford; $39.50 to New York; $22 to Boston.
Wesleyan New Haven Shuttle
Route A loop between Usdan Center and Union Station in New Haven
Schedule From Usdan: Fridays 6pm, Sundays 1pm. From New Haven: Friday 7pm, Sunday 2pm.
Cost $15 one-way, $30 round trip. Tickets available at University box office.
Chinatown Bus
Route "Boston Deluxe" from 365 Capitol Ave, Hartford to Boston and New York.
Schedule Complicated. Hartford->Boston: 1-2 departures/day, 6 days/week. Hartford->NY, 1-3 departures/day, 6 days/week.
Cost $15 one-way. Tickets available here.

Once you've gotten yourself to Meriden, Hartford, or New Haven, you have several train options. The Metro-North gives you the best bang for your buck.
Route From Meriden to New Haven, New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Hartford, Springfield, Vermont. From New Haven to all of the above, plus Providence, Boston, and Newport News, Virginia. From Hartford to DC, Springfield, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton, New York City.
Schedule Varies, see Amtrak website.
Cost Varies - $5-7 Meriden-New Haven. $32-86 New York->New Haven. See website for details.
Route From New Haven to New York City, with connections to Waterbury, Danbury, New Canaan. Connections from Grand Central to all regional rails, including Metro North to Poughkeepsie and Wassaic, plus NJ Transit, Amtrak. Once you're in NYC, you're golden.
Schedule About 24 departures to NYC between 4:12am-11:18pm (4:40am weekends), 7 days a week. About 24 departures from NYC to New Haven between 5:35am and 1:49am next day, 7 days a week.
Cost $13.30-$24 one-way. Go to the MTA fares site for details.
Shore Line East
Between New Haven and New London.
Schedule 14 departures between 6:23am-8:50pm.
Cost Between $2.50-8.25 one-way.