UMD DOTS OPEN FORUM EXPLORES IMPACT OF INCREASED STUDENT FEES OR REDUCED SHUTTLE-UM SERVICES
David Allen, the executive director of the University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services (DOTS), invites the campus community to discuss the implications of modifying the DOTS 2018-2019 mandatory student fee proposal in an open forum at The STAMP on Monday, Nov. 27. The proposal calls for a $14 fee increase that largely covers the cost of a 5% wage raise for full-time Shuttle-UM drivers. The Committee for the Review of Student Fees, which includes graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff, postponed voting on the proposal to explore the impact of various cost-cutting options such as the modification and elimination of current Shuttle-UM routes.
“We truly appreciate the time and consideration the Committee for the Review of Student Fees has put into this process, and we fully support their decision to postpone the approval of the DOTS mandatory budget,” says Allen. “This postponement will allow our student community to weigh in on how the fee increase will affect them compared to the impact of a possible shuttle modification/reduction. The driver wage problem is real and could threaten our ability to deliver service. We look forward to engaging in this process with our student community.”
At a starting rate of $16 per hour, the current Shuttle-UM driver wage ranks fourth-lowest among the 16 area transit agencies in nearby municipalities and universities. This has created significant challenges in retaining and recruiting full-time drivers at a critical juncture: a robust shuttle program is key to offsetting the impacts of campus parking loss. The proposed 5% increase raises the driver hourly rate to the middle range of area transit operators.
Open Forum Information
The open forum takes place on Monday, Nov. 27 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in Benjamin Banneker A (2212) at The Stamp. All campus constituents are welcome; for those unable to attend, the forum will be live-streamed on DOTS’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.