As of June 6th, the Tech Trolley no longer makes stops at the midtown Publix location before 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
According to Lance Lunsway, the Director of Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) at Tech, limited resources was one of the main reasons the stop was removed during the daytime hours of the week. He also noted that the change would help to maintain Trolley efficiency.
Lunsway also added that the lack of a fee increase limits the possibilities for additional services from PTS, despite the opening of the University House and Square on Fifth apartment complexes.
“Without additional resources, the service level remains the same,” said Lunsway. “There has not been a student fee increases in 3 years per the Board of Regents.”
In 2009, a similar change to Tech trolley service was implemented. The stop at Publix in Midtown was not serviced on weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. But that arrangement was discontinued following an increase in student demand.
Lunsway also discussed the possibility that service would be expanded sometime in the future, despite the recent cutbacks on trolley operation.
“An example of what has been looked at includes adding ‘express’ Trolleys from Clough commons to Tech Square and back,” said Lunsway.
However, Lunsway noted that this type of increase in service (or any that would be similar) would require additional funding to be directed towards PTS.
Additionally, the Green Stinger bus service will also be changed. The buses will no longer service the North Avenue Research Area (NARA) or the Technology Enterprise Park (TEP).
Instead, those areas are now being served by a new NARA/TEP Shuttle, which is currently operating on a pilot program basis. The shuttle’s hours will be Monday through Friday from 7:20 a.m. until 6:20 p.m. Members of the Tech community may board the shuttle at either the intersection of Ferst Drive and Cherry Street or at the Transit Hub, which is located near the Student Center in central campus.