CrimsonRide adds downtown routeBy Allie Hulcher | 08/25/2011 12:07am
The CrimsonRide now includes a new Downtown Shuttle, which will allow students to park free of charge downtown and take a bus onto campus. The announcement, however, came after students purchased parking permits.
Ralph Clayton, assistant director of transportation services, said the deal was finalized just a few days before the shuttle began running on Aug. 8.
“It was no fault of the University or of the city, it was just a matter of all the agreements being draw up,” Clayton said.
To students interested in the Downtown Shuttle who have already paid upwards of $200 for a parking permit, Clayton offered a word of hope.
“Students have until Sept. 5 to cancel their permit,” Clayton said. “There has always been a grace period to do that.”
The shuttle will pick up at the Downtown Intermodal Facility at 601 23rd Ave. The bus will run a complete route every half hour from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The route isn’t merely a campus shuttle. Stops on the route include Publix, DCH, Campus Way Apartments, the Rec Center and Denny Chimes. For the complete list of stops, visit the Crimson Ride website.
Though the shuttle is open to the public, only students, faculty and staff who present an Action Card can ride for free.
There have already been around 300 riders a day, said Jimmie Cain, the executive director of the Tuscaloosa Transit Authority. Cain said he has been planning out the implementation of a new shuttle since the completion of the Intermodal Facility last year.
“This is something that really needed to happen,” Cain said. “It gives more space for people to park down here.”
Saba Lalani, a sophomore majoring in engineering, is dealing with commuting to campus for the first time. She said she is interested in the shuttle but won’t give up her ten Hoor parking permit for it.
“It’s a good way to save gas,” Lalani said. “It’s amazing that it’s free, because we’re broke college students.”
Lalani pointed out the potential in offering a shuttle that reaches farther into the city.
“It’ll allow students to explore downtown Tuscaloosa and see what else Tuscaloosa has to offer besides the campus,” she said.
Clayton said he is happy about the newest addition to the Crimson Ride.
“We’re certainly excited about our partnership with the city and the new services we can provide for the university community,” Clayton said.