LBNL should reverse decision to cut shuttle service frequency by 58%

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Recently, LBNL announced via a "Today at Berkeley Lab" article that they are going to cut the number of Potter Street shuttle runs by over 58%.

We believe that this decision is not in the best interests of employees, LBNL, and our broader community. As a public comment period was not solicited, we feel that this forum is the best to voice our strong concerns for this action. While we appreciate financial constraints, we feel that this action has a greatly outsized impact, and may possibly do little to reduce costs.

At a time when parking on the Hill is becoming more and more challenging, and staff are being encouraged to look at non-car options, this sends all of the wrong messages. This policy decision effectively will alienate the hundreds of people who work at JBEI, OCFO, and Aquatic Park. Travel time on the shuttle for a meeting was already nearly unmanageable, and this new schedule compounds the problem. Clearly, people work and travel to these buildings, who have no car of their own, will find themselves spending even more time away from their work. This is lost productivity that has a financial cost.

We strongly believe that the best action is to strengthen, not weaken the bus schedule. We believe that with a modification of the route in both time and direction, additional pickup locations along the route and extending the hours on both ends will actually provide much better benefit than cutting this much-needed and useful service. 

This is an especially big blow to the community of young scientists (post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students) from UC Berkeley, who train and research off-site. These students already have to juggle class schedules with making time to come to an off-site lab, and this scheduling “change” will strongly burden them.

We strongly believe the best course of action is a stay of the current schedule, allowing a public response period, and a public forum to discuss how we can strengthen and improve our shuttle services. Ms. Helen Cademartori has kindly agreed to share this petition with those who have made this decision.