Stout said students could receive temporary parking permits during vacations and that other bus lines would be capable of compensating the loss of the NU if it was not during the academic year.
But Stout said this reduction in service is not a perfect option.
“This line also makes stops on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., so that would have some non-residential effects,” Stout said.
Stout also said terminating the U bus line Sunday service is worth considering, despite the inconvenience to those trying to travel downtown for weekend outings.
Stout said some options, such as ending operation hours at 6 p.m. for the U and RU lines, presented side effects on large numbers of students and staff that rendered it an unwise option.
Steve Spade, director of the Chapel Hill transit department, said all options would have negative effects, but action is necessary.
“We know we’re going to affect some people when we do this,” Spade said. “It’s how you minimize the effect.”
Spade said looking at ridership data is a good indicator of what services affect more people, adding that the bus system has an average ridership of 55 to 60 riders per hour. The NU during vacation breaks averages only 30 riders per hour.
Spade said reducing individual stops on a bus line does not have a significant impact on costs and is not an effective option.
He added that the system would still maintain their free fare policy.
The cost of facilitating and administrating fares would cost more than the budget could manage, among other reasons, Stout said.
Christopher Payne, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said student voice in this discussion is a necessary element in making a decision.
“I propose I coordinate a group of students to discuss ideas and bring back recommendations about how to move forward,” Payne said.
“This is a relevant topic for everyone.”
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