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AirBus program resumes

StudCo shuttle program will service Richmond, will not expand to Dulles

Student Council's UVAirBus program will resume service this year for Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks, said Council's Student Life Committee Co-Chairs Courtney Lester and Mary McGuirk.

Though UVAirBus made its maiden voyage last year to both Charlottesvile-Albemarle and Richmond International Airports, the current schedule only includes shuttles to and from Richmond.

Lester noted that there also will be fewer shuttles and that they will likely not expand to Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. In the meantime, the Committee will work to ensure the program kicks off with a single, strong shuttle system before expanding its scope.

"We decided to only have one bus per destination this time because last year we ran buses to Charlottesville, but they weren't really utilized," Lester said. "We thought Dulles would be a little too far and complicated to work with. We really want to get UVAirbus going and ... to have a strong foundation before we expand a little more."

Further, Council Chief of Cabinet Aagya Mathur said although each run will have 32 available tickets, additional routes and tickets may be added if demand is sufficient.

Last year, the Parents Committee supported the program by setting up a contingency fund to ensure the program's longevity. This year, Mathur noted it will assist the Student Life Committee by aiding in advertising, reaching out to possible contacts via listserv, among other measures.

"The Parents Committee has been helpful in dispersing information," said Director of University Relations Dan Morrison, noting that parents are always looking for cost-efficient modes of transportation for their children. "They even set up a information table during summer orientation for parents ... So both students and parents can benefit from the program."

Council, Mathur said, already has received inquiries about the program and has sold tickets for the return trip from Richmond in January. Council members also will be flyer, set up table tents and explore other avenues of advertising to spread the word about the program so students can book their flights accordingly.

"Really, at this point it's about creating a sustainable program and making it better in the future," Morrison said.

Tickets are now available for $20 each way - up from $15 last year to Richmond - and are available for purchase in person in the Newcomb Box Office, online or by telephone. All buses depart from Charlottesville at 2 p.m. at the McCormick Road University Transit Service bus stop and from Richmond at 6 p.m.