Missing Numbers

Without providing specifics, budget cuts merely serve as excuses.

Without providing specifics, budget cuts merely serve as excuses.

Last week, Temple students learned an important lesson before even setting foot in a classroom: Nothing in life is free.

After a seven-year run, the Main Campus to TUCC shuttle no longer exists, and students who opted to take classes at the 1515 Market St. campus are being forced to find other modes of transportation to reach their classes.

The shuttle to Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine, which was incepted in the late 1990s, has also been canceled.

While every penny counts – the savings, $247,000, could possibly save a handful of Temple employees from losing their jobs – there is much to be said about the hastily-made decision.

Though Temple announced the shuttle service termination Aug. 28, the changes were made apparent to students via an electronic Temple Today newsletter or for some, when no shuttle arrived at its usual stop, located at Broad Street and Berks Mall.

The university informed The Temple News that a contributing factor to the decision was low ridership but was unable to provide any specific numbers. The promotion of sustainability also played a role, but for the university to cite the environment as a cause merely distracts disgruntled students from the real issue.

Without an approximate number of daily riders, it is difficult to believe the university considered every facet in the decision-making process or that Temple is being 100 percent honest with its student body. Money is undeniably tight, but how many times can the university cry “budget cuts” before it’s been stripped of everything?

It is understandable that luxuries are not an option right now, but the shuttles were hardly a luxury. Often overcrowded and late, the service itself needed improvement, not abandonment.

It is small services, such as the free shuttles, that build up large, successful institutions. We commend Temple for increasing this year’s tuition by a historically low amount, but it shouldn’t serve as a cover for every financial decision the university makes in the coming months.

No one knows how long it will take for the economy to completely rebound or how many years it will take for Temple to be financially stable again, but only so many cuts can be made until we are left with nothing worth salvaging.

As adults, we are obviously capable of transporting ourselves back and forth to Center City. But as students who were promised a service, we shouldn’t have to.

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