ASU to temporarily suspend 2 intercampus shuttle routes

The Tempe-West Express and Mercado routes will halt starting Nov. 25 until the end of the Spring 2021 semester

ASU's Tempe-West Express and Mercado shuttle routes will be temporarily suspended from Nov. 25 until the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

In a Twitter announcement posted Wednesday, ASU Intercampus Shuttles wrote that the decision to suspend the routes was made due to "minimal ridership."

The Tempe-West Express offered a direct route to and from the Tempe and West campuses, and the Mercado route offered service from the Mercado building near the Downtown Phoenix and Tempe campuses.

"We will re-evaluate the use of the Tempe-West express and Mercado routes before the start of the Fall 2021 semester," Herminia Rincon, a media relations officer for ASU, said in an email.

While the need for intercampus shuttles has decreased dramatically since the transition from in-person to almost exclusively virtual class schedules, some students who relied heavily on the no-cost bus routes connecting Tempe and West campuses will have to rely on the other routes.

The remaining routes, Maroon and Gold, will both continue normal operations through winter break and into the Spring 2021 semester. The Maroon route offers service between the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix and West campuses, and the Gold service offers service between the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses. 

Jasmine Amoako-Agyei is a senior studying marketing who occasionally uses the Tempe-West Express shuttle route in conjunction with the Maroon route to commute to campus from her home in Glendale. 

While she can still use the Maroon route to get to the Tempe campus from the West campus, she said having both was a great convenience. She said she understands the reason for the decision but is still disappointed.

"Fortunately, I have the option of using a car, but I know a lot of students don't and that's really heartbreaking to see that," Amoako-Agyei said. "A lot of them won't have access to transportation that makes everything so much easier, so it is really unfortunate."

Amoako-Agyei suggested the University provide alternatives for the students this decision will affect, considering some may have to pay for Ubers, Lyfts or city bus fares once the shuttle routes aren't available.

"Financially speaking, being able to travel around to the different cities is just not a realistic option for many students," Amoako-Agyei wrote in a follow-up text message. "This was a saving grace. Without it, so many will be severely impacted."


Reach the reporters at kkwilso5@asu.edu and skenoun@asu.edu and follow @kaceywilson_ and @thesabrinakeno on Twitter. 

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