ASWSU Resolution to provide student transportation to Pullman-Moscow airport

ASWSU currently in discussion with Cougar Safe Rides and Pullman Public Transit.

Pullman-Moscow+Regional+Airport%2C+January+22.+2023.+

DEX ALTAVILLA

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, January 22. 2023.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen reporter

ASWSU recently passed Resolution 52-07, which aims to provide a reliable form of transportation by bus from WSU to Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport with a target completion date of the end of the spring semester. 

ASWSU Senator Sicaly Sorrell, senior multimedia journalism major, is one of the authors of the resolution. She said the development of this resolution began last semester and they do not have a final estimate for the cost. 

“The resolution was put together by me and Senator [Andrew] Burk,” Sorrell said. “There isn’t really a consistent method of transportation [to the airport]. The main one is College Cabs but most of the problem with that is that they’re understaffed and most of the time they only have one driver on … Also there is no bus route there.”

Sorrell said the resolution is still in the talking stage, with ASWSU speaking with both Cougar Safe Rides and Pullman Public Transit to try to develop a means of transportation to the airport.

“There were a couple of roadblocks in trying to figure out what would be the most viable option of who to contact at the time,” she said. “Cougar Safe Rides was the first one I’ve been in contact with. Obviously, staffing is an issue we’d need to work out.”

Sorrell said Cougar Safe Rides has voiced that they are open to helping provide additional means of transportation to the airport. ASWSU is currently hoping to have the resolution put into effect by the end of the semester.

“There will be updates through senate meetings about what this is looking like and what we’re getting done and, god forbid, if it just falls through the cracks and doesn’t work out, which I’m doing everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she said.

Matt Young, City of Pullman communications coordinator, said Pullman Public Transportation had been contacted by ASWSU three months ago about the resolution.

“Andrew Burk’s email came through October 10, 2022, to our airport manager Tony Bean,” Young said. “The city is growing and the airport is an important piece to not only attracting people to Pullman but allowing anyone here who needs that quick form of transportation.”

Young said Pullman has applied for grants through the Washington State Department of Transportation consolidated grant application, which, if approved, would include a fixed route service to the airport.

“Pullman Transit also applied to gain funding for two smaller electric buses that could help with airport service,” he said. “If grants are awarded, funds would be available starting July 2023.”

Young said while Pullman Public Transportation has been supportive of the effort, they were not directly involved with writing Resolution 52-07. Pullman Public Transportation is willing to keep a line of communication open to discuss the resolution further.

“Pullman Public Transit has a very good relationship with WSU Transportation for sure in terms of trying to provide for the community,” Young said.

Sorrell said she is still in talks with ASWSU in terms of what they can provide funding-wise and that the monetary issue is the most difficult part of the process.

She said now that the resolution has passed, the biggest difference from last semester is that the resolution has been determined possible to accomplish, but that there is still a lot of work to be done to bring it to fruition.

“These things do take time and it could not happen based on the resources needed to get them done,” Sorrell said. “That’s basically what the wait period and the discussion is.”