Megabus stop back on UVM campus - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Megabus stop back on UVM campus

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The University of Vermont had hopes of creating a safer environment when it kicked Megabus off campus. In November, UVM banned the bus line from making stops on campus after a passenger was busted with 30 grams of cocaine.

Tom Gustafson, vice president of the university's relations and operations with UVM, says, "It doesn't take a genius to realize that when you've got hard drugs moving around a community the potential for violence is always there."

For the past month the company has been picking up passengers at Burlington's Double Tree Hotel rather than campus. But starting Tuesday, the bus stop will relocate once again, this time to city property across the street from its former location outside the school's Royal Tyler Theater. It's a move some students don't think will keep drugs off campus.

Tyler Machia, a UVM graduate, says, "While you might move it 100, 200 yards off campus, I don't think you're really going to see any significant changes in the amount of narcotics or drugs that are found on campus."

But others believe even the smallest move could make a huge difference when it comes to drugs on campus. "It might be a little bit inconvenient but if it's the best for our university then I think it's good," says UVM sophomore, Anisha Vadehra.

Megabus officials plan to work with campus police to keep drugs off the bus, but say it's still a business and students are their target customers. "It's really unfortunate that the actions of a few people affect all the customers that use our services." says Mike Alvich, the Megabus Marketing and Public Relations Vice President. "The situation should not prevent thousands of people from accessing safe, affordable services that mega bus provides."

Megabus won't be the only carrier in the new location. The stop at the intersection of University Place and Main Street is already where Greyhound pickups up passengers. And while UVM police understand they can't prevent Megabus from stopping on a public street, their main concern is student safety.

Sergeant Brandon King with UVM Police says, "Anytime that you use public transportation, you should be aware of your surroundings and what's going on with that and I think that that's good practice for anybody no matter what mode of transportation they're using."

UVM police have monitored the bus stop during scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs in the past and plan to continue the practice. Mega Bus officials say their bus drivers are also trained to spot suspicious behavior.

"They're trained to look for certain things and then get a hold of the authorities immediately," continued Alvich.

The low-cost carrier had been stopping at the school for nearly 2 years. UVM officials say there have been at least five instances in the past 9 months where someone connected with the bus service has brought drugs onto campus.

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