Recent changes to the University of Connecticut’s bus Purple Line, have left Depot Campus unserviced and students frustrated.
Purple Line no longer services to Depot Campus, which, according to UConn’s website, is home to UConn Center for Clean Energy Engineering, Human Resources, and the Community School of the Arts. UConn Transportation states that its intention for the route alteration was adjusted due to low rider use on that particular line.
“In reviewing ridership data, only a few trips per day were being taken between the Storrs Campus and the Depot Campus,” said Tanya Husick, a transportation coordinator for UConn.
However, for those riders, the new changes have caused a major inconvenience. Within the Community School of the Arts is UConn’s notable Puppet Arts Complex, which is the site for many puppetry major classes, according to fourth semester puppetry major Esme Roszel.
When UConn announced its decision to seize service to this area of campus, it came as a “shock,” Roszel said.
“The Purple Line played a major role in my being able to physically access my major,” Roszel said. “When I heard the Purple Line will no longer go to Depot campus, my thoughts went to the many (puppetry) students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, who will no longer have a way to get to Depot, where the majority of their classes take place.”
Puppet Arts students who frequent Depot now may use a ride scheduling service, where they can reserve transportation at least 2 hours in advance to get from campus to the Puppet Arts Complex, according to Michael Rogers, a senior puppet major.
The service, however, is only allotted four vehicles to shuttle students, creating a logistical and scheduling headache for busy students, Rogers said. Students will have to wait for the four drivers to complete other pickup/drop off trips, preventing them from the freedom and convenience of a regular scheduled bus that the rest of the university students have.
Rogers said the shuttle service is inconvenient, since it will not allow puppeteers to work “spontaneously”.
“We no longer have the convenience of a regular bus schedule that all the other students at the university are offered,” Rogers said.
Rogers said that he feels that the service will detract and discourage potential students who are interested in joining the program.
“With no university buses coming out to the Puppet Arts Complex anymore, it potentially cuts us off from students in other majors and areas of study who may be interested in taking Puppet Arts classes,” Rogers said. “They may be used to getting around to various classes using the bus system, and since there is no longer a bus running out here, this may discourage them from attempting to take any of our classes as they can't figure out how to get out here to our complex.”
However, both Rogers and Roszel said that they are willing to adapt to the new system.
“Though it may take some coordinating and getting used to, I believe (the shuttle service) is far more convenient as well as time efficient,” Roszel said. “I understand the demand for rides to Depot Campus was incredibly low, therefore I believe these changes will ultimately be for the better, as we work out the kinks of this new system.”
Abbey Rodden is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.