The new bus routes, which were installed at the beginning of the fall semester, are facing heavy criticism from students after its first week in use.
The new bus routes were created to increase efficiency and decrease transfers between buses, according to UConn Today.
“We found out that the buses are being used primarily for transportation to class, when speed and efficiency is [sic] needed,” Charlie Grab, general manager of UConn’s transportation fleet said to UConn Today. “Students aren’t using the buses as much to visit their friends in other dorms or to go get something to eat.”
Blue, Red and Green lines begin and end at residential locations and/or parking lots with a few stops in the middle of campus. The Orange and Yellow lines circulate throughout the center of campus while Purple and Silver now service farther locations of campus, according to UConn Today.
Although Transportation Services said the purpose of the new bus routes is to decrease transfers and create more accessibility, many students said they are facing more issues since the route changes were installed.
Rachel Bahouth, third semester biology major, uses the Blue line as a resident of Husky Village. Bahouth believes that students are avoiding bus lines altogether because of the new routes and worries about the overcrowding of buses once the weather changes, especially with changes in parking policy reducing central parking on campus and increasing reliance on bussing to remote lots.
“The new bus routes are terrible… you can’t get to the center of campus, the closest you can get [on Blue line] is North. It’s a very long walk. How do they expect us to get there?” Bahouth said.“Also, W Lot is a huge commuter lot, so what’s going to happen when all the commuters and the Husky Village residents try to go on the same few buses? Once it starts to rain and get cold, there will be lots of overcrowding. I haven’t been late yet, but once the weather gets bad it’s going to be a big problem.” Bahouth said.
The Blue line bus route now runs through UConn Foundation, Engineering, CLAS, W Lot, Towers, the Chemistry Building, North/Northwest, C Lot, Busby, Charter Oak, Transportation Services, F Lot and X Lot. To get to the center of campus through Blue line, students will either have to walk from North Campus, or transfer buses, which the new bus system was allegedly trying to lessen.
The Red line bus route, which primarily services Hilltop Apartments/Dorms, D Lot the bookstore and Storrs Center, also received complaints.
Thomas McDaniel, eighth semester management major, said the new Red line bus route “didn’t make sense.”
“I’ve taken the bus once to Hilltop Apartments from the bookstore… the route was kind of an inconvenience since it turns around to go through the parking lots and then back to Hilltop.” said McDaniel.
Another student said that the Red line was an inconvenience to Hilltop residents who need to access the Engineering Building, or any buildings around that area of UConn’s campus. Michelle Veliz, fifth semester crime and justice major, took the Red line from Hilltop Apartments to the bookstore, the second stop after D Lot.
“My friend who also lives in Hilltop Apartments now has a very long walk from the bookstore to the Engineering Building.” said Veliz.
Other students criticized the inefficiency of the bus schedule and consistent glitches of the Bus tracking app.
Jordan Kyle, sixth semester psychology and food science double major is a resident off campus near Clubhouse Apartments, which is serviced by the Purple line. Kyle said the Purple line is supposed to start running every 25 minutes after 8 a.m. Although the next bus was supposed to arrive by 8:40, the bus times changed last minute to 9 a.m.
“ Because there was still only one bus running, I was late to class waiting for the next bus,” Kyle said. “If there are going to be huge delays in times, or if Transportation Services is not adding another bus [to Purple line route], notification beforehand at least would be nice.”
UConn Transportation Services was not available for commentary at the time of reporting.
Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.