The enhanced Saturday GUTS service will run every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. to 7:40 p.m., making stops at Dupont Circle and grocery store Trader Joe’s in Foggy Bottom.
The enhanced service is a continuation of a pilot program launched last spring, which implemented a more frequent Saturday service to Dupont Circle from noon to 7 p.m. and the addition of the Trader Joe’s stop.
GUSA President Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Vice President of Planning and Facilities Robin Morey announced the new service in a campus-wide email Tuesday.
The GUTS pilot program is funded through the reallocation of $36,000 previously dedicated to a late-night shuttle from Adams Morgan, that ran between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; this service was cancelled due to the low levels of ridership.
GUSA Press Secretary Aaron Bennett (COL ’19) said low use inspired changes to the service.
“Our analysis showed that previous routes run on Saturdays had low ridership, so our team worked closely with Robin Morey to find and expand the routes that provide the most benefit to our campus,” Bennett said. “We are also implementing real-time tracking of ridership metrics so that we can provide the best GUTS service possible.”
Jack Pelose (COL ’19), vice chair for GUSA’s transportation policy committee, said the frequency of the new Saturday GUTS service is what sets it apart from previous services.
“This is a massive improvement over existing Saturday Dupont service, which ran only every 80 minutes and for far fewer hours of the day,” Pelose said. “The main goal of the improvements was to get bus service that runs frequently enough that students want to use it.”
GUSA Master Planning Chair Zac Schroepfer (MSB ’19) said the optimized GUTS service has experienced increased student demand since the spring pilot program.
“We are hoping that the expanded hours both in the morning and the evening will allow students to utilize this route not only for increased access to groceries at Trader Joes, but also allow students a larger range of recreational activities around the city during the weekend,” Schroepfer said.
The program, which is pending final approval Dec. 6, will be evaluated for its efficiency at the end of the school term.
“GUSA and the university will analyze the data about the enhanced Saturday GUTS service at the end of the semester and assess whether this is a good use of transportation resources,” Pelose said.