The University of Maryland’s #142 bus route to Columbia will return for the fall semester, according to a statement from the Department of Transportation Services.
The bus will still be free to all students, department director David Allen wrote in the statement, but university employees will have to pay to ride.
A group of 22 university employees opted to purchase a pass for the bus via payroll deduction in order to keep it running, Allen wrote. Beginning on Aug. 20, the bus will run four times per day, Monday through Friday.
The solution was suggested by a group of passengers after the department cut the route in May to make up for its financial woes.
Many of the employees who opted to pay for the bus also opted out of parking, Allen noted. The reduction of campus parking due to construction at the university is a major reason the route was cut in the first place.
Since the lost parking spots are also lost revenue, and the department will need to construct a new underground parking garage near Chapel Field, it has a $700,000 budget shortage. The Columbia route was among several diminished or cut altogether in May, when DOTS announced the budgetary issues.
Many of those routes were late reinstated with the help of athletics department money, but the Columbia bus was not among them. Some, such as the #143 bus to Greenbelt, are still circulating less frequently.