Officials discuss transportation

City service would benefit students, administrators say

by Sally Claunch
The Shorthorn staff

The Mav Mover shuttle bus, which helps students travel from the university to shopping centers on Saturdays, was only meant as a temporary solution to Arlington's lack of mass public transit, said the Continuing Education Director.

"The development of a shuttle service from the city would obviously be helpful to university students to get to class and it would have an impact on parking problems," said Wayne Duke, who helped establish the Mav Mover service in 1997.

Public transportation was just one of the issues discussed Thursday by the Arlington Human Service Planners in their annual report to the community called "Arlington at the Crossroads."

Zeb Strong, assistant dean of students and multicultural services director, serves as the chairman for the Arlington Human Service Planners Forum Committee, which hosts the event. City officials, community leaders and citizens gather to discuss community issues. The group is a partnership of the United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County and the City of Arlington, which identifies emerging needs of Arlington citizens and develops solutions for the community.

 The Shorthorn: Nate Whitaker

Zeb Strong, assistant dean of students and director of Multicultural Services, speaks Thursday evening at First United Methodist Church during "Arlington at the Crossroads," the Arlington Human Service Planner's Annual Report to the Community.


About 300 people attended the forum and discussed how to make housing more affordable, solutions to truancy, gangs and runaways, and public transit needs.

Strong said many of the issues presented at the forum have been evaluated many times, but this forum was for community members.

"Many of these issues have been discussed," he said. "We are hoping that solutions will come out of it and that it will be solution based.'

Arlington Mayor Elzie Odom attended the meeting and stressed how important it is for the community to have an open dialogue with city officials.

"With this many people interested in Arlington, we can solve any problem if we try," he said. "We didn't come for you to hear us tonight; we came to hear what you have to say."

Community members separated into three groups to discuss the issues and then filled out forms with ideas on how to make housing more affordable, help at-risk youth, and different modes of public transportation. They suggested that private and non-profit organizations work with city agencies to help improve the community.

Jerry Mosman, United Way program director, said the ideas will be compiled and a report will be given to city, county and school officials to help them make policy decisions.

"It is the mission of Arlington Human Service Planners to identify emerging needs and develop community solutions," he said.

President Robert Witt stressed how important the Arlington community is to the university.

"It is very important for UTA faculty, staff and students to be heavily involved in the life of the city," he said. "Our involvement builds a bridge from the university to the community that will result, in the long term, in stronger support for UTA."


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