After more than a semester of planning, student polling and organization, Friday marks the official start of Boston University Student Government’s vacation buses program.
Saurabh Mahajan, SG’s director of advocacy and spokesman and College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said he is hopeful the service will provide students with a cheap and efficient alternative to traveling to Logan International Airport on the T or by taxi before breaks.
“The whole idea is to make transportation easier so that students don’t have to spend a lot of money,” Mahajan said. “It [the bus service] is significantly less expensive than a cab. It is a similar price to the T, but it is way more convenient.”
Two buses, one at 3 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. Friday, will shuttle students who are leaving for spring break from Marsh Plaza to Logan, making stops at each airport terminal.
Tiffany Lo, SG associate director of advocacy, said SG members heard about other schools with similar vacation bus services and decided to poll the BU student body.
“We decided to implement the bus program this year based on hearing about existing programs at other schools and seeing the student body’s need for a convenient service,” Lo, a CAS freshman, said in an email.
Lo said while tickets for the 3 p.m. are sold out, there are still about 38 tickets available for purchase for the 6 p.m. bus. If any tickets remain Thursday night, they will be available for last-minute purchase on Friday.
Mahajan said gathering support and approval for the initiative was not a challenge because it addressed a problem many students had.
He also said this service has been well received by BU students as it is inexpensive and convenient.
Remaining tickets for the vacation bus service can be purchased on www.eventbrite.com under SG’s page for $5, Mahajan said.
Esteban Da Cruz, a School of Management junior, said traveling to the airport by bus is more convenient than taking the subway.
“It is very cumbersome to travel on the T with a suitcase, and it is annoying to pay $40 to get dropped off by a taxi [at the airport],” he said.
Several BU students said they are in favor of the vacation buses, but that the service will only benefit students traveling home by flights out of Logan.
Thomas Pasarelli, a College of Communication sophomore, said he would like to see the program expand its services to fit the needs of a greater number of students.
“I personally wouldn’t benefit from this because I don’t go to Logan when I go home to New Jersey, but I would definitely use this service if it went to South Station,” he said.
Amir Nili, a CAS sophomore, said because many students at BU are from neighboring states, they would benefit from the initiative expanding its services to take students to different states.
“Off campus transportation can be improved by having buses to neighboring states such as Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York,” Nili said.
Erin Kingan, SG associate director of advocacy and COM freshman, said the service is limited to two buses and one destination because it is a new initiative that was only introduced in the middle of the fall 2012 semester.
Kingan said if the vacation bus service gains enough popularity, SG would work to expanding the service to return students back to campus after break. However, no bus service for students returning to campus currently exists.
“There were concerns in terms of how it will be executed, but we’ve taken suggestions and tried to make this run the best that it can,” she said in an email. “Friday is our pilot run so we are trying to gauge popularity right now before we increase the scope of the program.”