SGA passes bus route referendum

The Marshall University Student Government Association passed a resolution to place a referendum about the proposed Marshall University bus route on the Student Government General Election ballot during a meeting Thursday.

Students will now be able to vote on whether they support a proposed Marshall University bus route and the associated fee increase during the SGA elections Tuesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 16.

The Marshall University bus route will cost $16 per student per semester and would be added into tuition costs.

This cost would give every enrolled student a bus pass and unlimited access to the Tri-State Transportation Authority bus that will travel the Marshall bus route during the school year. It would also give students access to all TTA buses year-round.

SGA vice president Isabelle Rogner said the added tuition fee has a way to save students money if they utilize the bus system. Rogner said students may save money on things like gas and parking meters.

The bus route will include stops at the Visual Arts Center and Pullman Square, the Keith-Albee Theater, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Wal-Mart and Kroger.

Although the bus traveling the Marshall bus route would be open to the public, Rogner said they made the route so the stops are for Marshall students and where students will want to be.

Rogner said some selling points of the bus include a geolocation mobile app that will show bus schedules, including the schedule of the Marshall bus and the proposal that students will be able to swipe their MU ID cards to get on the bus.

TTA also has paratransit buses, which Rogner said is an important feature for students with disabilities on campus.

“We don’t have a way for our students that have disabilities to go down to the Visual Arts Center right now,” Rogner said. “That is something that our university should be offering all of our students.”

The proposed bus would run from 7:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 to 3 a.m. Friday and 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday. The bus would not operate Sunday.

“I really like this idea because with the campaign going on right now we’re getting a lot of criticism for SGA,” Rogner said. “This is one of the major ideas that we have that was a student led idea, it was student led by research, student led meetings and if it works out perfectly, it’s going to be a student led accomplishment, as well. And I think that says a lot for SGA as a whole.”

President pro-tempore Alex O’Donnell authored the resolution and said he was excited about its passing.

“It really makes me proud to be a part of SGA and seeing that we actually are making a substantial difference to Marshall’s students by giving them a stable way of getting themselves around town,” O’Donnell said. “We’re making sure that they’re

safe, we’re making sure that they are mobile and we’re really improving the quality of life for students on Marshall’s campus.”

Rogner said she was excited the referendum passed. Rogner said the fact that the university’s executive staff and President Jerry Gilbert are also welcoming the opportunity says the world about the people who are working for Marshall University and how much they care about the students.

Amanda Gibson can be contacted at [email protected].