Tunlaw shuttle service to be discontinued
The shuttle service to the Glover-Tunlaw apartment building has been discontinued because the building no longer houses members of the AU community, according to Tom Leathers, manager of Transportation Services for Public Safety.
"Since the apartments were no longer occupied as of Feb. 1, Housing and Dining consulted with Transportation Services and chose to discontinue shuttle service to the area," said Julie Weber, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs.
Before Glover-Tunlaw became vacant it had 64 apartments, Weber said.
"The occupancy of Glover-Tunlaw could have been anywhere between 85 and 125 residents," Weber said.
Leathers said in an e-mail that due to a request from the Graduate Leadership Council in October 2003, Housing and Dining and Transportation Services agreed to continue shuttle service until May 31.
"To be fair, we decided to allow the shuttle to run until the end of May," Weber said.
It is not University practice to run a shuttle service to a building unoccupied by people affiliated with AU, Weber said.
"Students cluster in certain neighborhoods, but we don't provide shuttle service to them," Weber said. "We run service from one University-occupied facility to another University-occupied facility, such as Park Bethesda."
"The Glover-Tunlaw shuttle serves people who work and/or live in University-owned or operated properties," Leathers said.
According to Leathers, Transportation Services has received complaints from community members.
"My office will respond to each complaint," Leathers said.
Weber said her office is also dealing with these concerns.
"I have responded to complaints and given individuals general information about why the shuttle is going to be no longer in service," Weber said. "If they have any additional concerns, I direct them to Transportation Services."
Some students have expressed their concerns over the change.
"I haven't made a specific complaint, but I have heard a lot of discontent surrounding the shuttle being discontinued," said Alexandra Costa, a first-year graduate student. "I am new to the area, and I got this apartment specifically because of the shuttle service."
Costa recently signed a lease to her apartment in Tunlaw Gardens, an apartment building near Glover-Tunlaw, for one year.
"A bunch of students depend on this shuttle to be in operation," Costa said. "Although it's only a 20-minute walk, it is going to be difficult in the winter when it's cold and when the summer when it gets really warm and humid ... It is especially bad walking home in the dark."
According to Costa, the manager of Tunlaw Gardens is currently trying to organize a shuttle service for college students to keep them in the building.
"Roughly 10 to 15 percent of our occupants are AU students," said Bernard Brown, communications manager at Tunlaw Gardens.
Tunlaw Park, another apartment building in the area, has 120 apartments and houses more AU students.
Approximately 45 percent of Tunlaw Park residents are AU students, said Kwame Bailey, marketing consultant and leasing agent at Tunlaw Park. "We have a total of 300 residents, with between 120 and 150 who are AU students."
"I know a lot of people down there [at the Glover-Tunlaw apartments] who rely on the AU shuttle service," said Kevin Wyatt, transportation supervisor. "I can't say whether the discontinuing of the shuttle service is good or bad, but a lot of people do need it."
AU Transportation Services is providing access to shuttle alternatives such as giving Metro customer service numbers to previous Glover-Tunlaw shuttle riders.
More information about bus and rail schedules can be found at rideguide.wmata.com.