Bring back the bus: FGCU community rallies behind Route 60

The FGCU Faculty Senate members who rely on Lee Tran Route 60 to get to work, as well as those who did not feel staff and students were given a voice in the recent route cut, filed a resolution Friday encouraging administration to avoid cutting the route.
According to the resolution, the official resolution reads: “… the Faculty Senate emphatically requests that the FGCU administration engage the entire University community in identification of potential alternative funding sources and innovative partnerships…prior to making any final decision on this issue.”
Sonji Nicholas, a sociology professor, intentionally bought her house so that she would have easy access to the bus route. Nicholas said that many foreign professors and staff members without a driver’s license rely on Route 60 to get to work.
“I couldn’t design classes and learn to drive…I’m concerned people will lose jobs,” Nicholas said.
Vice President of Administrative Services Steve Magiera previously told Eagle News that the University was spending $250,000 to fund the route each semester, and a recent study found an average of only twelve riders were taking advantage of this route to campus per day.
“Even in the best of budgetary climates, spending $250,000 on twelve riders is not advisable and does not maximize the resources of the campus,” Magiera said.
But a representative at Friday’s Faculty Senate meeting questioned the study’s results, claiming that Route 60 takes more than twelve people to campus each day.
Senate members are not just upset about the cutting of Route 60 because faculty use it — they are also calling into question the communication between administration and the faculty and students about the cut before a decision was made.
William Gunnels, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, expressed concern that the administration did not make an effort to discuss solutions to cutting the route with faculty and students.
In fact, the decision to cut the route is one of the reasons behind Friday’s Senate draft of a “Resolution on Failure of Shared Governance”.
According to the resolution, the University’s “continued failure to engage all stakeholders in relevant decision-making negatively impacts the quality of the decision-making and the ability to maintain a healthy campus community.”
The faculty senate approved the “Transit Resolution” regarding Route 60 and sent it to FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw.
Student Government Vice President Luis Vargas reminded those at the Faculty Senate meeting that Student Government created a ridesharing website catering specifically to FGCU students, faculty and staff.