Students may be forced to change their plans, due to the cancellation of Free Transit Week this semester.
According to Courtney Carroll, a New Jersey Transit Spokesperson, the reason behind the cancellation is purely fiscal.
Carroll said the purpose of Free Transit Week, which usually occurs during September of Fall semester and February of Spring semester, is to promote the NJ Transit Student Pass Program.
The program, which started in 2004, is offered to New Jersey colleges for students traveling to and from school. These monthly passes are offered at a 25 percent discount, accoring to njtransit.com.
Students using the program cannot stop at any other station but their home station and the station nearest to their college.
“The fall (Free Transit) Week has a bigger impact on the purchase of those passes,” Carroll said via telephone, “so we have decided to move (Free Transit Week) to the beginning of the fall semester.”
Carroll also said the exclusion of the spring semester promotion was not strictly due to the current state of the economy.
“We’re under budget constraints like everyone else, but it’s mostly that the fall program is more successful than the spring one,” she said.
Although the College does not participate in the Student Pass Program, Free Transit Week was still a favorite among College students. To participate in Free Transit Week, all students had to do was fill out a short survey on the NJ Transit Web site and print out a free pass.
When presented in the place of a ticket along with a valid student ID, the pass allowed the student to ride all NJ Transit rail lines and buses free for a designated week.
“My friends and I were depending on (Free Transit Week) to go shopping in New York,” Ainjel McDonald, sophomore philosophy and economics major, said. “It’s $20 to go to New York from Hamilton – that’s expensive. I can’t believe that. I’m shocked.”
Joanna Fantozzi, sophomore English major, agreed.
“I like to take advantage of (Free Transit Week) – I usually forget, but I like the opportunity,” she said.
Free Transit Week will only be taking place during the fall semester – sometime in late September of this year, according to Carroll.
Caroline Russomano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.