After University of Connecticut students voiced their complaints with this year’s new bus routes, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and transportation services have modified the lines.
“(The changes were) primarily (made) to address students’ concerns,” said USG public relations chair Omar Taweh.
Transportation services brought back Silver Line and added a new “loop” around North and Northwest residence halls and the Student Union, among other modifications, Taweh said
“The loop is mainly to serve the commuter lots, the core of campus and the anticipated closure of X Lot and construction of the new lot behind Charter Oak for the construction of the new STEM complex,” Taweh said.
USG is hoping to revise the bus routes again based on students’ feedback in the next two weeks, at which point the changes will be implemented, Taweh said.
“We’ll be able to have bus drivers trained on the correct routes and them hopefully implement (the changes) by Oct. 7,” Taweh said. “It looks like we’re getting enough feedback to do so.”
Though some students have requested that the university change the bus lines back to last year’s routes, Taweh said they were initially changed due to safety concerns and issues surrounding the intersection across from the new recreation center.
“The campus is changing, and it is not advantageous or efficient to maintain last year’s routes,” Taweh said.
Jessica Young, a seventh-semester physiology and neurobiology and English double major, said though she likes the new modifications overall, she would prefer the red line’s current path more than the proposed one.
“Right now (the red line) goes from Hilltop area to D Lot and then (the) bookstore, which I think is better than what is being proposed because that brings students to center campus, allowing Hilltop students access to lots of different areas, instead of just the science complex,” Young said.
Fifth-semester digital media and design major Christian DeMarzo also expressed concerns with the proposed changes to the red line, saying that its current path is more convenient for him.
“I am a fine arts student living in Hilltop Apartments and I am someone without a car,” DeMarzo said. “I depend on red line to get my groceries. I have tried walking back but anything frozen already starts melting by the time I get back to my dorm.”
DeMarzo said he thinks the red line’s proposed changes would benefit only a select few who need to go to the science building but said he thinks more people would benefit from a bus that goes from Hilltop Apartments to Storrs Center.
“As it is, red line being the only one going to Hilltop is a problem. Every morning as I get on the bus, it is already filled and myself and a few others will have to stand for the duration of the ride.” DeMarzo said. “I really just don’t understand why UConn can’t have two separate lines going to such a highly populated area.”
Seventh-semester communication major and studio art minor Melissa Michaud said she is happy the proposed changes won’t affect the bus route she uses.
“I was worried with another change there wouldn’t still be a line that goes from the Art Building to W Lot but I’m happy there still may be,” Michaud said. “It’s so tough having to commute and park on the north side of campus when almost all of my classes are on the south side.”
Taweh said USG believes the new bus routes will also provide some support for commuter students who park far from the center of campus due to a lack of parking.
“I know (the new modifications aren’t) a perfect fix, but I anticipate (they) will alleviate some of the issues and concerns regarding parking, especially because they will be making sure that the buses run on time too,” Taweh said. “If we can help the students that used to use the bus and no longer do while simultaneously working to make the lives of commuters easier, working to advocate for the students became a no-brainer.”
Gabriella DeBenedicts is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.