Keep the M2 Shuttle Free for the Entire HMS Community
The M2 Shuttle is an essential means of transportation for many members of the Harvard Medical Community, especially for the many Postdoctoral Fellows working at HMS and HMS affiliated institutions. The recent decision to discontinue support for the shuttle for the HMS affiliates will clearly have an adverse effect on the working environment and productivity of the entire HMS community. Harvard should value the contributions of the affiliates and has a responsiblity to promote a collaborative, interactive working community. Such a change in M2 Shuttle fares will have a disproportionate effect on Postdocs, who already are required to stretch their stipends/salaries (that are below NIH minimum guidelines for some) in order to work in one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Many Postdocs currently use the shuttle for a safe, flexible commute to work, and the existing subsidy was an important factor in their recruitment and choice of housing. Many others use the shuttle to travel back and forth between LMA and Cambridge to work on collaborative projects that are essential to the success of HMS as a whole. Easy and convenient access is also a must for attendence at semniars and workshops around the area. Denying HMS/HSDM affiliates the same ability to use the M2 Shuttle as their Harvard colleagues subverts the very notion of collaboration that such an affiliation was designed to represent. We would like to urge Harvard to rescind its decision and continue to support free access to the M2 Shuttle for the entire HMS affiliate community.