“The days of waiting minutes on end in the rain before squeezing into a bus full of strangers, only to arrive five minutes late to class, are over!” exclaimed Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman proudly on Friday, April 12 as she unveiled the school’s bold, new plan for student transportation.
The plan is to retire the shuttle buses and replace them with a high-speed rail system running directly from the JFK train station to the University of Massachusetts Boston. Newman explained that the rail system is expected to be completed by “sometime 2020, or whenever,” and that it would be “a huge step forward for the university.”
After the announcement, Newman took some questions. During this time, one student asked how much the system was expected to cost, to which Newman replied: “The good news there is that, by charging individual passengers for their rides, the high-speed rail is expected to be entirely self-sufficient, so that we can implement this great system without raising tuition; the downside to this model, however, is that nobody will be able to afford it.”
“Just how much, exactly, will this cost then?” asked another student. Newman answered that “we’re still trying to figure out the definite pricing, but at this point we are fairly certain that absolutely nobody will be able to afford it.” “So if nobody is going to be able to afford the fare, then how is the university planning on covering the cost of construction?” the student reposted. Newman explained that “we shall, for the time being, be raising the tuition to cover costs.”
At this point there arose significant unrest among the students present. Newman attempted to calm the crowd, explaining that “none of us are happy about the fact that nobody will be able to afford this, but we really don’t have any other options right now. Let me assure you all that we did extensive research on this, and we are certain that this will be a net positive for the university.”
After the event, an administrator who wished to be remain anonymous contacted The Mass Media with information about the decision to construct the high-speed rail. “What really happened,” they explained, “is that we [UMass system administrators] were all at a bar together and Marty was talking to Katherine and he said, ‘Build a high-speed rail, I dare you.’ And she said she couldn’t afford it, and then he said that Amherst would do it, and then this guy from Amherst was like, ‘We’d totally do that,’ so Katherine said something like, ‘What? You think you’re better than us? Wait ‘till you see are new super-train!’ And that’s how we got here.”
As of now, student and faculty opinions seem to be mixed on this recent announcement, with 100 percent of those asked stating that they did not approve of this decision, yet the school’s public relations office insisting that reactions are indeed mixed.