Texas A&M Partners With Ground Shuttle For Discounted Rides Between College Station, Houston
Texas A&M University has initiated a pilot program with Ground Shuttle to provide discounted transportation between College Station and Houston. The program is running through the end of October and is available to all Texas A&M students, faculty and staff.
For a discounted rate of $10 per round trip and with a reservation, a Ground Shuttle van transports riders to the Houston Medical Center in the mornings and back to Bryan-College Station in the evenings, three times per week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Riders are picked up at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Bryan campus at 7:45 a.m. and the Zachry Engineering Education Complex on main campus at 8:05 a.m. The van arrives at the Houston Medical Center at 10 a.m. and leaves to return to Bryan-College station at 6 p.m., transporting riders back to their respective pick-up locations. Arrival and departure times are approximate and subject to current traffic conditions.
The program was initiated as a result of a survey conducted early this year by Texas A&M Health, Texas A&M Engineering and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). Nicholas Hernandez, customer relationship management (CRM) data coordinator for TEES Office of Industry Research Partnerships, led the project under the supervision of Professor Joe Elabd, who directs the office and also serves as the associate dean for research for Texas A&M Engineering and interim vice chancellor for research for The Texas A&M University System.
“We wanted to find out how many students, faculty and staff are traveling to and from Houston each week,” Hernandez said, noting they received 1,120 survey responses. The survey results showed that 100 campus members commute five times a week and more than 700 travel the route one to four times a week.
Based on the results, university leaders determined that enough people were commuting to justify a three-month trial program which began Aug. 1. So far, the vans are at about 40 percent capacity, Hernandez said, adding he hopes as more people hear about the program, the number of riders will increase.
Although the shuttle drops off at the EnMed building in Houston, Hernandez said the program is not limited to those who are EnMed-affiliated. “Any campus member can ride, and you can ride just one way if you want,” he said.
Reservations are required and can be made through the Texas A&M Marketplace website.
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