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DOTS Shuttle-UM Service Reduction FAQS

What are the transportation alternatives for commuting to the College Park Metro and local shopping establishments on the weekend?

This transit navigation guide shows the many free and low-cost options for commuting to local shopping, dining and entertainment centers as well as four metro stations. The Smart Commute platform includes a trip planner that can connect you with Shuttle-UM alternatives, such as MetroBus, carpoolers and vanpools. Additionally, NITE Ride will serve the College Park Metro Station on weekends from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Given the weekday service reductions, how should I prepare for my daily commute?

If you are a regular passengers of the #104 College Park Metro Station, #143 Greenbelt and #105 Campus Connector, you should plan for a decrease in the frequency of buses on your routes:

  • #104 College Park Metro Station bus circulation time will increase from 7 to 10 minutes.
  • #105 Campus Connector bus circulation time will increase from 8 to 10 minutes in the morning and 12 to 16 minutes in the afternoon.
  • #143 Greenbelt bus circulation time will increase from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes during peak hours: 7:05 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.

We recommend that you download the NextBus app and sign up for NextBus alerts to track your preferred routes in real time (see instructions). The Smart Commute platform can connect you with Shuttle-UM alternatives, such as MetroBus, carpoolers and vanpools.

I am a regular 142 Columbia Park and Ride passenger. What other sustainable transportation options are available to me?

DOTS can facilitate the formation of vanpools for 142 Columbia Park and Ride passengers. A vanpool is a group of five or more riders that share their commute to and from work in a reliable, well-equipped vehicle provided by Enterprise Rideshare. Each individual rider pays a monthly fee that covers the cost of the vehicle, scheduled service, regular maintenance, 24-hour roadside assistance, insurance and gas. If interested in joining a vanpool, please email or call 301-314-1400. The first three vanpools that form will receive their first six months free.

I gave up my parking permit to ride the 142 Columbia Park and Ride. Is it possible for me to purchase a parking permit?

Yes. Faculty and staff may purchase a parking permit at any time by speaking with their transportation coordinator. Students may purchase a summer parking permit immediately. Fall and annual permits will go on sale in late July or early August at The sale dates for fall and annual permits will be announced on the DOTS website in June.

Why did you reduce or eliminate service for these specific routes?

We determined these service reductions with the university's educational mission in mind, and have therefore maintained the majority of our routes that enable students to get to class during the week and travel around College Park safely during the evening.

How long will Shuttle-UM route reductions last?

While we anticipate that the route reductions will last for the 2018-2019 fiscal year starting on July 1, we will regularly assess the need for the route adjustments through our budget review.

Why is there a budget shortfall?

The budget shortfall is the result of a major decrease in visitor parking revenue and the need to construct an underground parking garage near Chapel Field. In anticipation of the shortfall, we recommended a budget to the Committee for the Review of Student Fees that addressed the deficit which amounted to a $47 increase in commuter parking and a $97 increase in resident parking. However, the committee rejected the proposal and recommended we implement other cost-saving measures.

Why is a parking fee shortage affecting Shuttle-UM?

Shuttle-UM services are significantly subsidized by parking revenue. Historically, this has been accomplished by transferring approximately $4 million dollars of employee parking revenue to the Shuttle-UM budget. This assists in covering the cost of employees using the Shuttle-UM system, which is funded through student fees. In the current funding model, the parking budget primarily consists of fixed expenses as opposed to the Shuttle-UM budget, which covers the costs of services that can be modified. For this reason, any deficit in the parking budget must be addressed through reductions to the Shuttle-UM subsidy, which results in cuts to Shuttle services and routes.

With the campus’ current emphasis on sustainable transportation, why are you building a garage?

While we’re still prioritizing sustainable transportation, the area of campus near the Chapel Field will experience exceptionally high reductions in parking. An underground garage will mitigate the effects of the major parking deficits in this area without altering any environmentally sensitive space.

If you have additional questions regarding the impact of DOTS budget reductions on the campus community, please email