Free Local Shuttle

Leave the driving to CityRide
November 20, 2013

• Want to head out this weekend for entertainment or to do some shopping but have no car, no gas, or simply no interest in driving? Not to worry; there’s a solution that’s nearly at your doorstep―and free.

The CityRide shuttle, which operates Fridays and Saturdays, connects WPI and Assumption College students with six popular spots for food, shopping, and entertainment. The service is free for full-time undergraduates presenting a student ID from either of the sponsoring colleges.

Destinations include Target (Lincoln Plaza), the Blackstone Valley Shoppes in Millbury, and Worcester North Cinemas, along with both college campuses. Service runs from 5pm to midnight. Printed schedules can be picked up at the Student Activities Office.

The numerous stops and wide service area give students a variety of options, says Christine Girouard, associate director of student activities.

“With central drop off points such as Target and Blackstone, students have access to a number of different shops, movie theatres, and restaurants in the local area.” She adds that with a stop at Union Station, students also have a convenient way to connect with a train or bus.

CityRide is several years old, Girouard says, and was originally coordinated by the Colleges of the Worcester Consortium. Four Worcester colleges were initially part of the program, but Clark and Holy Cross no longer participate.

“As the program has developed and changed, WPI and Assumption have continued to support the program on our campuses, as we believe it is a service that students want, need, and utilize on a regular basis,” she notes. At WPI, CityRide is funded by the Student Government Association.

The advantages of such a service are obvious, she says. WPI students receive free and safe transportation on weekend evenings. And rather than jumping into separate cars to drive to the same destination, students can step onto the shuttle and enjoy door-to-door service. Girouard sees it as perfect travel solution for a large group.

And at this time of year, CityRide can be especially beneficial. Holiday shoppers may find the annual ritual far less stressful when they don’t have to do the driving.

“While school is in session, students can take advantage of this resource to do their holiday shopping,” says Girouard. “While there’s probably no getting around traffic during the season, they can at least avoid the headache of trying to navigate through it. And with door-to-door service, they would never have to worry about finding a parking space.” In addition, she says, there may be more room for their purchases on the bus than would be available in a compact car.

By Mike D’Onofrio