On November 1st, University College Dublin (UCD) and UCD’s Students’ Union (UCDSU) formally announced the return of the free Smurfit to Belfield shuttle bus service. This comes as the product of the assessment of the Smurfit student experience undertaken by UCDSU Graduate Officer Marc Matouc.

The College Tribune reached out to Matouc to comment on his role in reinstituting the shuttle bus service, as well as his broader experience in helping students. When asked to describe the situation at hand, Matouc said, “Isolation in Smurfit is rife and avoidable but, most importantly… unacceptable”.
In his two terms serving as Graduate Officer, Matouc has cultivated community on campus through actions such as the purchase of a pool table and the creation of the Smurfit Community Survey.

This survey has been mandated to be conducted for the next three years, which Matouc said “leaves a legacy that upholds student power”.The Smurfit student survey was an indicator of the students’ much-needed shuttle bus system: over 50% of respondents indicated they had missed opportunities to become involved in university Societies, Sports, and Clubs due to connectivity issues between campuses. Over 80% of students answered “Yes” when asked if they would travel to Belfield more frequently if transport was provided.

New Free Shuttle Bus 
Between Smurfit and Belfield Campus Announced by UCD
New Free Shuttle Bus Between Smurfit and Belfield Campus Announced by UCD Photo credit: Hugh Dooley (The College Tribune)

The new service lets students “attend more events, mingle, and gives more leisure time to them. More free time equals more social opportunities, passions, and hobbies to be given consideration, and more of this student life involvement leads to an electric campus atmosphere overall.”

Matouc’s advice to students is to make the most out of university by utilising all that UCD offers and become leaders of change by joining advocacy groups such as the Student Union. Matouc thanked the “Smurfit Estates Team… and the staff down at Smurfit,” as well as the UCDSU team for their cooperation in getting this bus running.

Completely free of charge, the shuttle bus is available Monday to Friday, from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. The bus runs from Belfield to Smurfit every half hour, returning in the opposite direction on the hour. Students can board from the Newman and the Village locations on the Belfield campus, and from the Graduate School of Business taxi rank on the Smurfit Campus.

Benjamin Floyd – Reporter