SA board commits to promoting bus services

By Pam Schmidt

In an effort to increase revenue and to keep fee increases at a minimum, the Student Association Mass Transit Board has made a commitment to promote its service to the community.

“Anything we can do to increase revenues will offset the increase of (student) fees,” SAMTB Promotion Chairman David Emerick said.

Several proposals to increase the community’s awareness about the service provided by the Huskie Busline, including the printing of individual route maps, were discussed at a SAMTB meeting earlier this week.

Emerick, who also was involved in the promotions of the bus service in his hometown of Rock Island, said the individual route maps used there were very successful in terms of raising the community’s awareness and getting more ridership.

Other ideas include lunchroom promotions and DeKalb Downtown Dollar Days. The board also is looking into re-instating the Saturday Shopping Shuttle to the Northland Plaza.

The idea behind these ideas is to make the students aware they can reach these places by bus, Emerick said.

Although the board has not discussed the idea in detail, several board members are working with the possibility of offering a late-night service for students who must walk home after the buses have stopped running.

Michael Cassman, author of the proposal, said much has to be worked out before the board can look seriously at the idea.

“The times have changed,” Cassman wrote in a letter to the board. “It is no longer a good idea to walk across campus after dark … I am therefore proposing that NIU implement a ride service to provide safe transportation after dark.”

If approved, the service might run from midnight to 6 a.m. during the weekdays and from 2 to 6 a.m. on the weekends.

Phil Kessler, SA services adviser and chairman of the SAMTB, said funding might be a problem. “The idea goes beyond the question of money and hits an important issue.”