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Merrimack College Says No to Going ‘Green’ for Taxis

Brea Lucci ’13, Staff Writer

Merrimack College has 2,576 registered undergraduates 2012-2013. The rise of students attending Merrimack from 2012-2013 from 2013-2014 has increased though the college declared to release the numbers. There are 66% residents at Merrimack 2012-2013 and 33% commuters.

As the student body size increases so does the campus. The campus has been expanding from new construction to Zip Cars on campus. There are only two ways of transportation on Merrimack College: Zip Cars and shuttles.

Zip Cars are cars that are available for students to rent for a few hours allowing them to use the car and bring it back to campus. The student creates a Zip Car account with a fee and then with an hourly cost along with gas. Merrimack however, does not have Green Taxis; which would eliminate students needing to drive and only giving them the option to go to from campus in an hourly period.

Green Taxis are provided through the college with background-checked drivers who drive hybrid green-colored taxis. These taxis provide students the ability to have a safe, background-checked driver at a low cost. The taxi drivers can drive students about 15 minutes distance from campus and only asking each student to tip between $2 and $5 making the commute safer, cheaper, and more convenient. These taxis and similar concepts are becoming popular amongst schools such as; University of Tampa and universities across Canada.

Merrimack has shuttle buses Kerry Eaton, the office manager of student involvement said, “shuttle buses are available for all Merrimack College students to use. If students want to drive them, they are able to apply for a campus job and be trained and certified.”

Anthony Brunco president of student government association stated that he “did bring up the idea of ‘Green Taxis’ with an administrator, who cited the above reasons [Zip Cars and shuttle buses] for why the college would not likely pursue the concept.

He also believes that “as the college expands in student population, we should continue to look for other alternatives as the limitation for parking makes it impossible for all students to have cars on campus.”

Merrimack continues to increase in size and commuters, by 4% in the last year alone. This makes for less parking spots on campus, as mentioned by Brunco. The Zip Cars and shuttle buses do provide transportation for students, but Green Taxis would make for friendly transportation for the increase of students.

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