Monday, June 1, 2020

Over 1,000 sign petition urging CATA 33 to run later, cite safety concerns

January 25, 2019
	<p>Snow is piled high at a <span class="caps">CATA</span> bus stop Jan. 7, 2014, outside of Wells Hall. Despite the class cancellations and the weather, buses continued to run. Erin Hampton/ The State News</p>

Snow is piled high at a CATA bus stop Jan. 7, 2014, outside of Wells Hall. Despite the class cancellations and the weather, buses continued to run. Erin Hampton/ The State News

Photo by Erin Hampton | The State News

A petition advocating for Michigan State's bus route 33 to run until 2 a.m. has 1,130 signatures as of Thursday, putting it on track towards its goal of 1,500 signatures.

CATA bus route 33 runs from the MSU Union to South Neighborhood. Unlike other campus buses — such as routes 30 and 31 that run until 2:30 a.m. — route 33 stops its rotations at 7 p.m.

Environmental studies and sustainability junior Macey Tiedgen, who commutes to MSU from Williamston, said she would feel safer on campus at night if the 33 bus ran later.

“I decided to sign it because I am a commuter student, so when I go to the library late at night, the bus doesn’t run to the commuter lot,” Tiedgen said. 

Other students said they signed the petition because clubs, jobs and even classes sometimes run later than the time the bus stops running. 

Computer engineering freshman Chapin Ramseyer supports the petition because he lives in South Neighborhood, which is on the opposite side of central locations on campus, like the MSU Union. 

Ramseyer said he believes the bus should “at least stay open until the Union closes,” since that is one of the route's main stops. The Union is also where the MSU University Activities Board holds many events. 

Comments left on the petition range from concerns about students having to find alternative, costly solutions to travel home like Uber, low temperatures that can make walking uncomfortable and classes ending late — but most comments revolved around concerns with student safety. 

Although CATA declined to comment on the petition, Associate Vice President for Administration Wolfgang Bauer spoke with the State News about his thoughts on the petition. 

Bauer said he believes that if the student body shows enough of a need for an extension on route 33’s running time, it could be a possibility in the future. 

Financially, Bauer said running the bus later is something he would have to work out with ASMSU and MSU’s new interim president Satish Udpa. However, Bauer expects support for the petition, especially from Udpa.

“President Udpa is very sympathetic to public transportation, so we are going to try to make this happen,” Bauer said. 

Bauer also said that if the petition reaches its goal, it is "absolutely" something that he would discuss with CATA.

“We are CATA’s customers, they do what we need them to do, we pay for it," Bauer said. 

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