The Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts has announced an agreement with the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to provide a new “College Route” connecting three HECCMA institutions: Assumption College, College of the Holy Cross, and Worcester State University.
To be known as Line 10, the new WRTA route will provide public bus access to campuses not previously served by the WRTA, and it will offer two additional transportation opportunities per hour at Worcester State University. The three participating institutions are subsidizing this bus service.
The new route will enable students from HECCMA undergraduate institutions to access other campuses for the use of shared facilities and courses. The new bus route will begin operating on Monday, August 31, and will run throughout the academic year. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the end date will be May 27, 2016.
“This new bus line will provide students studying in Worcester much needed public transportation to explore specialized academic opportunities at neighboring city colleges and universities,” said Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
“This new bus route will help solidify the city of Worcester’s growing reputation as a ‘college town,’” said Barry M. Maloney, president of Worcester State University. “It will allow more of the roughly 35,000 students in the city to circulate to the downtown area and to sister campuses. It is also likely to encourage cross-registration.”
“This new bus route will give students, faculty, and staff increased access to shops, restaurants, and venues in Worcester, and also allow members of the Worcester community an easy way to visit our campuses,” said Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of Holy Cross. On behalf of all three presidents, he praised the partnership effort. “I am pleased with the partnership between the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, Holy Cross, Assumption, and Worcester State.”
All three presidents also thanked HECCMA for its critical role in turning talk of a new route into reality.
The collaboration will provide economical and green transportation opportunities for college students and employees. The new line will provide access to college campuses as well as community businesses through the stop at the WRTA Hub. College students will be able to purchase unlimited semester use passes, called UPasses, for a nominal fee. Additionally, the public will be able to ride this new line, which will run Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Assumption College currently has no WRTA bus stop. “As a student without a car on campus, finding transportation can be difficult, and expensive,” said Assumption College graduate student Christopher Maeda. “The new bus service makes it much easier for Assumption students to take advantage of Worcester’s many internship opportunities.”
Assumption College has made the commitment to provide UPasses free of charge to their students participating in an internship this year.
President Cesareo added, “The expanded academic options made possible through this service will support efforts to make Worcester’s institutions of higher education even more attractive to prospective students. For students who do not have cars on campus, typically freshman and international students, public transportation allows greater access to educational, cultural and internship opportunities. This service will also provide students with a direct link to downtown Worcester, thereby allowing the college community to have a greater impact on the local economy.”
Jeanine B. Went, executive director of HECCMA said, “It is my hope that this agreement between the WRTA and three HECCMA institutions provides a foundation for a more comprehensive set of transit options in the future. We are grateful to Stephen O’Neil and his team for their efforts in laying the groundwork for this collaboration.”
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