Roughly 16 hours after 5,300 SEPTA union workers officially went on strike, Dean of Students Dr. Ainsley Carry addressed concerns about the university’s contingency plan at the Temple Student Government general assembly meeting Monday.
“I’m not going to make a promise that we can drive all over the city to pick up students,” Carry said. “But if a student can get to Broad Street then [we] can get them to campus.”
During his report, Carry fielded questions from several representatives who were unable to board Temple buses that were packed with passengers or had to wait for extended periods of time for Temple buses to arrive.
Carry said the four northbound buses and three southbound buses running up and down Broad Street are more likely to arrive on time before the afternoon rush begins.
“We have a lot more traffic and a lot more travelers then we’ve ever had before,” Carry said. “As we receive feedback from students, we’ll know if we need to increase the number [of buses] in this route.”
According to Carry, Temple buses were boarded by students, faculty, staff and people in the community. He also told the general assembly that if the buses pass by a student, it is most likely because it has reached maximum capacity.
“Today was our first day trying to figure out the routes,” Carry said. “The earlier you can get on the bus, the better.”
Commuters concerned about making it to classes on time were told to talk with individual faculty members.
“Now your schedule changes completely,” Carry said. “What used to be a 15 to 20 minute commute now turns into an hour or an hour and a half. I’m encouraging you to communicate with your instructors about that.”
TSG President Oscar Chow said a plan for a city-wide shuttle that would be shared by students from Temple, Drexel, La Salle, University of Pennsylvania and Community College of Philadelphia has been discussed but, at this point, all sides have not agreed on the proposal.
“So far, Temple has been the best in providing a contingency plan for its students,” Chow said, noting that the university has provided more buses for its student body than other local colleges.
Chow also advised residents to visit the” Need a Ride” message board on the
Temple Web site.
Representatives who commute farther away from campus expressed concern that the shuttles would not reach them.
“We run into a situation where [it becomes] how far do we try to provide a bus service because students live all over the city now,” Carry said. “We are struggling as a community trying to figure this out as well, but today’s meeting has been very helpful.”
Tyson McCloud can be reached at Tyson@temple.edu.