Sunset Place shuttle route extended to Dadeland

Students board the UM shuttle on Saturday at Dadeland, which is now included in the off-campus route. Victoria McKaba // Staff Photographer

A  Saturday Hurry Canes shuttle to Dadeland is now up and running, thanks to a Student Government initiative.

The shuttle stops at Dadeland after Publix and the Shops at Sunset Place. The noon to 8 p.m. schedule remains the same for the weekend route, and shuttles depart from Stanford Circle and the Hecht/Stanford stop.

Freshman Leadership Council (FLC) members Quinn Kasal and Sarah Potter led the project. SG Vice President Justin Borroto assigned them the task in October when Kasal and Potter expressed interest in making campus transportation more convenient.

Kasal felt right at home with the project because of his interest in transportation and his experience as an urban studies minor.

“Transportation is something I’m knowledgeable about,” he said. “I thought it was something that I understand really well that I can make a difference in. Students can take the metro to Dadeland, but it’s all about making the campus experience more convenient for them.”

The project took six months to complete given the research Kasal and Potter needed before they could initiate the project. They polled students, determined the demand for a shuttle stop at Dadeland, and made sure it was something students wanted and needed.

Kasal and Potter then drafted a proposal and examined how the new stop could fit into the existing Sunset Place shuttle route in the most efficient way, Borroto said.

Jesus Melendez and Sarah Quigley, SG parking and transportation liaisons, assisted the FLC. They worked with administration throughout the process.

Patricia Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs, gave the project its final approval on Feb. 24 in a meeting with SG President Bhumi Patel.

This additional stop is meant to help freshmen who are not allowed to have cars on campus. The expanded shuttle route also provides a safe and easy ride to the mall for all students, Melendez said.

Freshman Daniel Tirado likes the convenience the Dadeland stop provides so that students don’t have to spend money on getting there using the metrorail.

“One of the major restrictions for freshmen going to that area was that it would be $4.50 for a round trip metrorail pass,” he said. “The free shuttle allows students more access to an area that should be easily accessible.”

This was not the first time such a project was proposed. Two years ago, the shuttles stopped at Dadeland Mall, but there were several issues, including timing.

“We went back to what we had from the previous trials, and we worked off of that and tried to address all of the issues,” Potter said. “And from that, that’s how we created our proposal for the new one. We’re trying to make a more concrete schedule so people know when it’s coming and use it.”


Saturday shuttle route:

Where: Stanford Circle and Hecht/Stanford stops. The shuttle travels to Publix, the Shops at Sunset Place and Dadeland Mall, the latest addition to the route.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays