Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Contract woes suspend ASG’s weekend Chicago shuttle service

Northwestern’s Chicago Weekend Shuttle will stop running this weekend until the Associated Student Government and Royal American Charter Lines finish contract negotiations, although both sides say the shuttle could be back as soon as next week.

ASG Treasurer Edith Rivera told The Daily she was unaware until last week that the shuttle had been running without contract every weekend since December except during Winter Break.

Rivera, who is in charge of the shuttle, said the negotiations aren’t a focus for ASG.

ASG allocated $30,500 for the weekend shuttle service, about 35 percent of its 2002-03 operating budget, which is funded by the Student Activities Fee.

Jennifer Gregory, general manager of Royal American, said the company will not charge ASG for the trips that ran without a contract. The extra money will be returned to ASG’s funding pool, Rivera said.

ASG took over management of the shuttle contracts Fall Quarter. Previously, the task fell to NU’s Support Services Manager Debra Garfi.

“(ASG) wanted to do all negotiating themselves,” Garfi said. “I haven’t been involved at all.”

Royal Charter said ASG has not yet signed its original contract, Gregory said.

“Right now the ball’s in their court,” Gregory said. “We’re waiting to hear back from them.”

Gregory and Rivera said the contract should be signed by next weekend, at which point the shuttle would resume service.

Rivera said numerous “hang-ups” and miscommunications occurred during the negotiation process, which began right before Winter Break.

“The issue was the company getting us the contract and not getting all the signed parts,” she said. “It wasn’t a problem in the university’s process.”

While it was running, the shuttle was free for students and ran every 30 minutes from 8:15 p.m. to 3:15 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, picking up passengers at three stops on the Evanston Campus before heading to Chicago and Michigan avenues in downtown Chicago.

Odell Owens, a Royal American bus driver, said the shuttle was not used by students on most weekends since it started running again in December.

“Every night was zero, zero, zero, zero (passengers),” said Owens, although he added he had 13 passengers one night.

Because of the incomplete negotiations, Rivera said ASG had not yet advertised the service this year but expects to use flyers and HereAndNow.

A number of students at Norris University Center said Thursday night that they were unaware the shuttle existed.

“I think if they’re going to use that much money for it, maybe they should publicize it better,” said Allie Pernic, a Weinberg sophomore.

Although she had never heard of the shut, Pernic said she thought it would make trips to Chicago safer and cheaper.

Communication senior Kara Massie said she’s heard of the shuttle, though she’s never used it. She said the service could use more publicity.

“I think it would be good if they’d publicize it more and get the word out about how to take it and where to take it from,” she said.

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Contract woes suspend ASG’s weekend Chicago shuttle service