CSI Student Government Wants MTA to Extend Bus Service
By Patrick Kettyle
At 9:36pm, CSI senior Jasmine Smith walked to the Victory Blvd entrance bus stop just as the last S93 pulled away. She went straight into the bus shelter, sat on the bench, and took out her phone knowing her commute home to Brooklyn just got twice as long.
CSI Student Government senator Maxime Muller, who frequently uses the S93 to commute home, presented the Student Government board with the draft of a letter to the M.T.A. aiming to expand service of the S93 and help students like Smith.
“I feel that there is a lack of service,” said Muller. “We need buses to come at 9:45pm and 10:30pm which can help the students be able to get on the bus and go home to Brooklyn.”
The last S93 bus leaves CSI at 9:30pm. This forces many students who cannot fit onto the last bus or take night classes ending at 9:30pm or later to take the S61 to St. George Terminal and then transfer to the S53 in order to get to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.
The alternate commute takes at least an extra half hour for students to get home.
Muller feels confident that the letter will result in the M.T.A. providing additional services like it did two years ago when S93 buses began making stops in the middle of CSI’s campus.
In his letter he makes a subtle threat to the M.T.A., stating that student government will contact legal representatives to look into the safety of students with disabilities who may not be able to access or receive proper seating on the overcrowded 9:30pm bus if services aren’t extended.
Muller feels confident that the proposal will be effective.
“I really think it will happen,” said Muller. “We are presenting them the letter in a way showing that they can have more students on this bus paying the fare.”
Student Government President RJ Mohammad does not share Muller’s optimism. He believes that the MTA will not be so quick to accommodate students, and that more than a letter will be needed to result in change.
“Change does not happen overnight or with a piece of paper demanding anything to happen,” said Mohammad. “It happens over time and needs constant effort, and what we are doing is laying a foundation for something that will result in change.”
Mohammad has already put consideration into the next steps that student government will need to take in order to push for extended bus services to become a reality.
He will be sending this letter out to Staten Island’s elected officials and plans to start scheduling meeting with them.
First on his list is Borough President James Oddo, and he will continue to go higher if necessary until the needs of students become are addressed.
After the letter received a motion by senator Tarik Arabi for action to be taken on the issue and a second motion of approval, the board voted 23–0 for the letter to be sent to the M.T.A. by those in attendance at the meeting.
The letter will be sent after revisions from Donald Hudec, student government’s advisor, Carol Brower, the director of Student Life, and Mohammad.
In the meantime, CSI students will either have to avoid evening classes or hope that change will happen to make taking the S93 more convenient.
“I have been stranded here before,” said Eric Flores, a junior at CSI. “Sometimes I see kids miss the bus and they run to catch it and make the driver stop.”