Shuttle-UM is a student-managed transit system at the University of Maryland, College Park, campus, providing commuter, security, paratransit, and charter services free of charge to students, faculty, staff and visitors. The service is funded primarily through the student activity fee. During its first year (1972-1973), Shuttle-UM provided transportation to over 65,000 persons; during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, ridership exceeded 3,000,000.
The service was first established by students in November 1972 as a nighttime security service, in response to concerns about student safety. The Student Government Association purchased the initial two vans, and operating costs were provided by the administration, through the Office of Commuter Student Affairs. In the spring, the Resident Housing Association and the University Commuters Association each donated an additional van, and the number of routes was increased to three. During the following school year, daytime intracampus routes to the parking lots and an evening Call-A-Ride (now known as NITE Ride) were added. In the summer of 1975, four Mercedes mini-buses were purchased, and Shuttle-UM name was established. Charter operations were initiated in fall of 1975, followed by off-campus commuter routes in spring of 1976. Disabled transit service (renamed Paratransit during the 1989-1990 school year) began the following fall.
With all major facets of the operation established by the end of the 1970s, the transit system continued to grow in size and scope throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Barri Standish was hired as General Manager in 1982 and was succeeded by Maria Lonsbury (formerly the Assistant General Manager) in 1995. All employees except for the General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Maintenance Manager, and two Maintenance Supervisors were students, and all facets of the operation (including bus maintenance, driving, training, and dispatch) were handled primarily by students. The organization has been a member of the American Public Transit Association and the Transit Association of Maryland since the 1985-1986 school year.
In 2002, Shuttle-UM merged with the Department of Campus Parking to become the University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services (UM-DOTS), the primary agency responsible for administering parking and transit management programs on the College Park campus. The position of Shuttle-UM General Manager was eliminated, and as of the 2011-2012 school year, Shuttle-UM is overseen by DOTS Associate Director David Davitaia, under DOTS Director J. David Allen. Shuttle-UM remains a student-managed transit system under the auspices of DOTS. Student staff start as drivers and can move into dispatcher, maintenance assistant, human resources, training, marketing, recruiting, and management positions. In 2012, construction of a new, permanent facility on the College Park campus was completed, and service was expanded to the University of Maryland, Baltimore under the name UM Shuttle.