The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

Chatham University to cut faculty, staff bus passes

Pittsburgh+Regional+Transit+bus+drives+by+Chatham+University.+Lilly+Kubit%2FCommuniqu%C3%A9
Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus drives by Chatham University. Lilly Kubit/Communiqué

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, faculty and staff at Chatham University will be losing their access to free bus passes as a result of the recent school-wide reorganization process. 

The decision was made after the University established a working group to research how much the faculty and staff used the bus passes over the course of a year. They found that faculty and staff made up only 16% of overall riders and that around 50% of those faculty and staff rode less than 10 times within the year. 

“While [faculty and staff bus passes are] phasing out, Chatham is expanding the Flexible Spending Account option offered to employees to include pre-tax contributions to use toward transit costs, such as bus fares and passes,” Bill Campbell, vice president of marketing and communications, said on behalf of the University. “In addition, Chatham is in ongoing discussions with PRT (Pittsburgh Regional Transit) around other ways we can support our employees’ transit needs. We are discussing the feasibility of Chatham employees utilizing the Ready2Ride mobile app with discounted bus rates and/or to provide discounted or subsidized bus passes for employees.” 

Faculty still have concerns and frustrations over the removal of the bus passes.

“I was disappointed when this was announced,” said Assistant Professor of Psychology Lauren Bates. “I use [the bus system] heavily. I know a lot of people who use it heavily, so I was like, you’re taking away something that we are clearly using. … It’s a quality of life thing for a lot of us. I like being able to pay less for gas because I don’t use my car all the time, and maintenance.” 

   When interviewed, a member of the housekeeping staff said that they were neutral on the issue, but hopes that free bus passes will come back in the future once the financial resources are more stable. 

“It’s a tricky situation here… when you rely on bus passes, they take it away. There’s nothing you can do about it,” they said. “You end up, you know, buying your own bus pass out of your own paycheck. … You still have to go to work.”

As a result of the removal of the bus passes for faculty and staff, students are concerned that their access to bus passes could be in jeopardy. 

Sarah Gollogly ‘27 commutes to Chatham via bus almost everyday. 

“The ability to use my ID to get on the bus is pretty crucial, considering how often I take it and I know that there are a lot of other students who take the bus as well even if they do live on campus,” Gollogly said. “I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to pay for that on their own, faculty or students.” 

The University has stated that no change will be made to student access to bus passes this academic year.

Bates said that the removal of faculty and staff bus passes puts into question Chatham’s value of sustainability. 

“I really liked that Chatham has sustainability as one of its sort of values and it seemed like that really lined up with [free bus passes]. So that was another reason I was disappointed when they took it away. Like I’m going to be driving now, put another car on the road,” Bates said. 

As discussions with PRT are ongoing, any updates will be shared with the Chatham community when more information is known.

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About the Contributors
Bella White, News Editor
Bella White ‘27 is a first year at Chatham studying Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. Originally from north of Pittsburgh, Bella decided to come to Chatham to build on her passion for writing. Bella is a contributing writer for the Communiqué, where they primarily focus on news, lifestyle and the Chatham Student Government. In her free time, Bella enjoys conquering their To Be Read list, seeing musicals, learning new languages and taking naps. They can usually be found in a library or a bookstore with a good iced coffee. For inquiries about her work, Bella can be best reached at [email protected] or via Instagram @b.el.la.w.
Joey DeLucia, Contributing Writer
Joelle “Joey” DeLucia 27’ is a Psychology major with a Creative Writing minor and is a contributing writer for the Communique. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and is proud of it! She chose Chatham for its beautiful campus, empowering atmosphere, and its proximity to coffee shops and bookstores. Joey is a part of many organizations on campus such as the Martial Arts Club, the Tabletop Gaming Club, and is a resident at the Women and Femme Aligned LLC.

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