New transportation option

New shuttle bus system helps students get from GR to BR

Ferris is introducing a new shuttle bus service that will transport students from Big Rapids to Grand Rapids.

This is a relief to some students who do not have a reliable form of transportation or commute to Ferris. In addition, some find the use of the shuttle bus service more ideal than driving to and from Big Rapids.

Stephanie Gerow, senior in biology, said she will be driving from Grand Rapids to attend classes and finds the service beneficial when it comes to inclement weather and the cost of gas.

“From my house it costs almost $25 per day to drive up to school and back home. So $16 per day would be less in reality and worth it when Ferris decides that school will still be in session even with 40 feet of snow on the ground,” Gerow said.

Anne Hogenson, communications specialist from University Advancement and Marketing, said riders are encouraged to use the “Commute Cost Calculator” to determine the cost of private commuting. The calculator can be found on Grand Rapids’ bus service The Rapids’ website.

When it comes to paying for the service, a semester pass for unlimited use of the shuttle bus service costs $700 per rider. Hogenson said riders who do not wish to purchase a shuttle bus card may pay a one-way trip fee of $8 in cash each time they ride.

“Students may charge the bus card to their student accounts and, depending on their circumstances, may be able to apply their excess financial aid to the cost of the pass,” Hogenson said. “However, travel cost is already taken into consideration when determining a students’ financial aid package and cost of attendance, so students will not qualify for additional financial aid as a result of using the bus service.”

Amanda Wood, junior in English, is glad to hear about this service and thinks it’s a great thing for Ferris students. Wood said, “It’s about time they did something to help students commute to Grand Rapids. Most of the time most students don’t have cars on campus and Grand Rapids is the closest city that has a bigger mall. It’s a nice alternative compared to finding someone who has a car, and sometimes it’s safer to use the shuttle bus.”

Hogenson said students who choose to reside at their permanent addresses in Kent County and who purchase a bus pass for both semesters will be given exceptions to the residency requirement. Students must contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life to demonstrate they meet the necessary criteria.

Students who reside on campus and would prefer to use the shuttle bus service may contact the Housing Office regarding certain rules and policies.

Hogenson said the service is mainly intended to offer cost-savings benefits and convenience to members of the campus community who might otherwise choose to commute privately.

“This service will help make travel more convenient and affordable to some members of the campus community,” said Hogenson.

Gerow is also relieved that she will be less stressed when it comes to driving up to Ferris when the snow covers the campus

“I won’t wreck my car and also won’t have to worry about the stress of driving next to idiots who still haven’t figured out how to drive in the snow even though they live in Michigan. Overall I think this is a great idea that should’ve been started previously,” said Gerow.

Hogenson also wants students and the rest of the Ferris community to know this program is in the pilot stage, and feedback from the campus community is encouraged: ext. 2920 or n