Getting to the airport is expensive, especially during the holiday season. A taxi ride from anywhere in Manhattan to John. F Kennedy International Airport costs a flat rate of $52, not including any tolls or the $4.50 rush hour surcharge. For the same distance, Uber, which got rid of its flat rate in December of last year, estimates a range of $52 to $67 for their low cost variant, the uberX. And that’s not including any surge charging and tips. Though public transportation is cheaper, the time it takes to get to the airport combined with the amount of luggage students lug to the airport makes for an inefficient hassle of a process. Considering the fall semester ends around one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year, to help alleviate costs the university should provide transportation for students to airports.
During the holiday season, residence halls have been known to pair people up for uberPool, thus lowering costs. The university could implement a similar system by sending out a university-wide survey and then pairing up groups so that a regular $60 uberX ride, for example, could be only $15 per person. In addition, NYU could send out a university-wide email with tips on cutting costs for travel, such as giving a range of the best times to purchase tickets. Considering how busy many students’ lives are with coursework and other responsibilities, having the university send out a helpful guide for holiday transportation would save potentially hours of research students would have to do otherwise.
Or better yet, NYU could model this Stony Brook University program and implement a shuttle bus service through Super Shuttle to take students to the airport. To cut costs and increase efficiency, a university-wide survey could be sent out to decide when are the best days and times the shuttle should run. Depending on the results of the survey, there could be airport-specific shuttles or one giant shuttle that would have the main airports en route. According to NYU Manager of Transportation Gregory Rivas, the university is actually in the works of piloting an airport transportation service. He stated that such a service would be only $20 per person. Though it would be ideal for this service to be free, this price is understandable and still cheaper than taking a taxi or utilizing services like Uber.
NYU President Andrew Hamilton made a commitment to look at issues such as affordability, and for a place as geographically diverse as NYU — the university has the highest number of international students in America — affordable airport transportation for students is necessary. Though the organization of such programs might be tedious, they are worth it, as it shows that NYU cares about its students.
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