Dartmouth Expands Transit Options

News subtitle

Transportation Services extends schedules, adds vans with wheelchair lifts.

A couple boards the Dartmouth Campus Connector bus
A Geisel medical student and her husband board the bus at Sachem Village on Wednesday afternoon. She said they were headed off for their honeymoon. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)

Life at a university doesn’t stop at sunset. And let’s face it, parking lots tend to fill up at peak times. So to meet growing demand, public transportation to, from, and around campus is now becoming more available, accessible, and environmentally friendly. 

New buses, extended shuttle schedules, and expanded routes are being rolled out through a joint effort of Transportation Services and Advance Transit, the free public transportation system subsidized by Dartmouth and other Upper Valley employers. Dartmouth has also added to its fleet several new electric-powered vans equipped with wheelchair lifts.

“From morning to night, we’re now providing a level of service that someone coming from more urban environments, who’s used to taking public transportation, might expect to find,” says Patrick O’Neill, director of transportation services. “I can’t stress enough how important the relationship is with Advance Transit, because they are increasing connectivity from the other Upper Valley towns where we know students, staff, and faculty are living.”

“They need to be able to get dependable rides, with robust service from outlying communities in the Upper Valley, to campus from and back to their homes.”

Following a pilot project, expanded service has fully resumed at Summit on Juniper, the graduate student apartment complex near Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Riders can board a green and white Dartmouth Campus Connector seven days a week, with several core campus stops near residence clusters with spur service to DHMC. The last bus will leave Summit on Jupiter at 2 a.m.

Dartmouth Campus Connector buses will stop at Sachem Village, Dartmouth rental housing located on Route 10 south of downtown Hanover, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.

By the middle of fall term, eligible riders with disabilities will be able to take a new specially equipped MOBILI-D shuttle to designated core campus locations. Pre-approval will be granted by Dartmouth Health ServiceStudent Accessibility Services, or the Division of Institutional Diversity and Equity.

Starting next month, Saturday service by Advance Transit will connect the Dartmouth campus to West Lebanon shopping centers. Additionally, Advance Transit is extending its weekday evening service by two hours on all its routes.

O’Neill says the changes come in response to a survey conducted about a year ago.

“We had just over 3,000 respondents, and what we learned was that both undergraduate and graduate students were looking for later evening service, Saturday service, real-time schedule information, improvements to bus signage, service to Sachem Village and Summit on Juniper, and access to shopping centers,” he says.

“We are really excited about all this,” says F. Jon Kull ’88, dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. “Of course, it will not only help graduate and professional students, but the entire Dartmouth and Upper Valley community.”

Sarah Friday, a PhD candidate in computer science at Guarini and communications chair for the Graduate Student Council, says that prior to these improvements, students without cars would sometimes be stuck at home at times when it was important to get to campus. “So it will be helpful to bring back late-night service to Summit on Juniper,” she says.

Both Dartmouth and Advance Transit offer, through their websites, up-to-date schedules and route maps, plus interactive apps allowing riders to track the movement of their buses in real time—another reason O’Neill hopes more and more Dartmouth-bound commuters will leave their vehicles at home.

“Any cars that we can get off the road because an employee or a student is taking public transportation or the campus connector is a really important step toward Dartmouth’s mission to go green,” he says.


You can download the MobiliD app at Google Play or the App Store

Open the app and create an account using your official Dartmouth email.

Charlotte Albright