New Gold Route from CyRide begins

Melissa Berg

Greek community members and students with classes on the north side of campus can get to class faster and warmer now with the new free CyRide Gold Route that starts today.

The Gold Route is the third free campus circulator route, following the Orange and Brown Routes, and will connect the greek housing area, Memorial Union, Union Drive Association, Central Campus, Lied Recreation Center and Richardson Court Association.

“The route works well, because it runs clockwise around the outskirts of campus, while the Orange and Brown Routes run counterclockwise in the interior of campus,” said Barb Neal, CyRide assistant operations supervisor.

Neal said CyRide decided to start the Gold Route in October rather than the beginning of the semester, because they didn’t feel there would be a very high demand for this new route in the warmer weather in August.

Jennifer Cheever, member of Alpha Xi Delta, 315 Lynn Ave., said she thinks the route will be very beneficial.

“I’ll use the route a lot, because I have a lot of classes in the Town Engineering building,” said Cheever, sophomore in civil engineering.

The idea for a route through the greek community has been proposed before, but due to funding issues it was not possible, said Andy Tofilon, Government of the Student Body president.

Funding was made possible by a referendum that was passed last spring to add $9 per semester to tuition to make the transition to a fare-free system on all routes of CyRide. This will be phased in over the next 2 years, he said.

“The Gold Route is definitely one of the most student-friendly routes as it connects to all other routes and, more importantly, goes through the greek community that has never had service before,” Tofilon said.

Some students have raised concerns about losing parking spaces in the street due to the new route. Neal said the buses will park in the existing no-parking areas, so there won’t be any parking spaces eliminated because of the Gold Route. A special bus also was ordered that is smaller and easier to get out of the stalls, but it will not be ready until Nov. 1, she said.

Shawn Koehler, member of Alpha Gamma Rho, 201 Gray Ave., said he thinks the route is a waste of resources.

“It probably won’t be used very much by our members, because we are within walking distance from campus,” said Koehler, junior in agronomy. “In fact, the majority of the greek houses on campus are within a 20-minute walking distance from campus.”