The Turkey Shuttle, a Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate-funded transportation option from the Mayer Campus Center to South Station and Boston Logan Airport, is once again running this year. This year, the price of a ticket for the Turkey Shuttle is $3, a departure from the previous ticket price of $5.
The shuttle will run on the afternoon of Nov. 26 and the morning of Nov. 27.
According to TCU Senate Treasurer Sharif Hamidi, the reason for this change in price is to remain competitive with other modes of transportation in the area.
“The combination of both FlixBus setting up on Tufts campus and driving people to New York, in addition to the fact that $3 is now significantly closer to the price of a T ticket, the hope is that [the price change] will act as an incentive to have more students take the Turkey Shuttle instead of Ubering or taking the T,” Hamidi, a junior, said.
According to a previous Daily article, FlixBus is a long-distance busing company that runs bus routes in 28 countries and 12 U.S. states. As of this year, FlixBus added a direct bus route from Tufts’ Mayer Campus Center to New York City.
According to Hamidi, TCU Senate runs a shuttle service before Thanksgiving break because it is the one time during the school year that many students leave campus at around the same time.
“It would be impractical to run shuttles for the two and a half weeks that encompass reading period plus final exams,” Hamidi said. “That’s why it’s done during the Thanksgiving recess.”
As well as citing the introduction of the FlixBus service directly from Tufts to New York City, TCU Senate Services Committee Chair Tim Leong said that some students didn’t take the Turkey Shuttle because the T was cheaper and the convenience of riding the Turkey Shuttle wasn’t quite worth the cost.
“One thing I heard a lot from last year is people saying that they weren’t really interested in the Turkey Shuttle because they felt that it was just as easy to take the T for less money,” Leong, a sophomore, said.
Jonah Hoyt, who is flying home to Chicago, Ill. on Tuesday, is one student who is not interested in taking the Turkey Shuttle. Instead, he is planning on Ubering to the airport. Hoyt mentioned logistical reasons for Ubering instead of taking the Turkey Shuttle, despite Uber’s higher price tag.
“I don’t know Logan well, and I want to be dropped off where my gate is since I don’t know the layout of the airport,” Hoyt, a first-year, said.
Despite this, Leong maintains that the Turkey Shuttle is an excellent option for students trying to get home for Thanksgiving break, especially at the reduced ticket price. According to Leong, the Turkey Shuttle is faster than the T while having a significantly reduced risk of delays.
TCU Senate funds the Turkey Shuttle from funds in the Senate Treasury. According to Hamidi, the funds in the Treasury come from every student’s Student Activities Fee, a part of a student’s regular tuition and fees.
“The Senate budget includes $2,500 to pay for this year’s Turkey Shuttle,” Hamidi said.
Hamidi said that the intent of the Turkey Shuttle is not to turn a profit but to provide a service to Tufts students who need to find a cheap and easy way to get off campus for Thanksgiving break.
“The goal is to help as many students as possible, which is why we’re OK with making the price [of a ticket] lower for students if it means more of them can make use of them,” Hamidi said.
According to Leong, each Turkey Shuttle bus will run a route from the Campus Center to South Station before dropping students off at a central location at Logan. Students can buy tickets for the Turkey Shuttle at tuftstickets.com.