Residents of Wymount Terrace have started a petition to create a shuttle route to their complex by way of BYU’s new free shuttle service, The Ryde.
BYU graduate student Chris Hawk started the petition in hopes of initiating action from The Ryde. Hawk had been watching the status of the free shuttle since last fall.
“I noticed that they were running a shuttle from Wymount to campus and it cost $100,” Hawk said. “On their website, they had mentioned that in the fall, it would be free. I was anticipating it. They were starting to get ready for fall, and so they put up the schedules. I noticed that there was no route going to Wymount.”
The free shuttle comes with the new changes to BYU’s student parking policy, which will provide five free shuttles to students living off campus and require students who want to drive their own cars to pay for a $60 parking permit.
Hawk contacted Student Movement, the group in charge of The Ryde, to find out why the Wymount route was removed.
“I called them up, and I asked them what was going on,” Hawk said. “Essentially their response was that they didn’t think there was enough demand at Wymount based on the number of people who had ridden it previously.”
Jake Luekenga, a representative of The Ryde, confirmed this response.
“We had a route at Wymount for a year and a half,” Luekenga said. “There wasn’t a huge demand there. We reduced the price significantly, and still there wasn’t much of a spike.”
The Ryde had five routes to choose, according to Luekenga. The demand for the shuttle appeared to be higher in areas further from campus.
“I think what it really came down to was a proximity thing,” Luekenga said. “There was a large demand in areas further from campus.”
Hawk got the word out about the petition through the Wymount Facebook page. Posting about it on Facebook raised the number of signatures from about 50 to over 200 people.
The goal is to get 500 signatures before submitting it to The Ryde for consideration. Hawk also contacted the Student Health Center and has received its support for the shuttle.
“They’re going to be writing a letter to accompany the petition saying that they would like a shuttle,” Hawk said.
Hawk spoke with Debbie Eyre, the administrative assistant at the Student Health Center. Eyre said she believes the shuttle will provide an easier way for students to get to the health center, as it is right across the street from Wymount Terrace.
“We’re right in front of Wymount,” Eyre said. “It’s hard to get up here.”
The shuttle is still in its beginning stages and will continue to be a work in progress.
“It really is still in its infancy, and it’s a new idea,” Luekenga said. “Our goal is really to serve the students in the best way possible.”
Luekenga also spoke in response to the petition for the Wymount route.
“It certainly hasn’t been ruled out, because our goal is to grow this,” Luekenga said. “We are continuing to evaluate and doing the best we can.”
The petition is currently at 310 signatures. The goal is still to reach 500 signatures for it to be sent to Student Movement for consideration.