Several changes have been made to bus routes at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus since last school year.
The Hunting Lodge route, previously covered by UConn’s HuskyGo buses, is now serviced by the 675 Windham Region Transit District (WRTD) bus due to a new partnership between UConn and WRTD. The WRTD line operates Monday through Friday during UConn’s fall and spring semesters. It travels along Hunting Lodge Road and Birch Road, providing connections to North Eagleville Road and Downtown Storrs, according to the WRTD website.
WRTD buses are free to ride with a U-Pass, which can be requested from the UConn Parking Services website for free and can be either picked up or mailed.
The bus can be tracked using the Ride Systems app, which is what UConn buses used prior to switching to the Rider app system. UConn Parking and Transportation hopes to eventually switch over to a singular system/app where students can track both HuskyGo and WRTD buses, said Katharine Otto, a shared transportation planner for UConn and WRTD.
As of next week, the 675 WRTD bus will be live on Google Maps. This will allow students to route plan using the Google system, which is integrated with most other major forms of public transit, including the CTtransit buses and trains. Route planning is a feature also expected for the HuskyGo buses in the future.
Multiple HuskyGo bus routes have also changed.
The former Blue Line has been split into two routes. The current Blue Line services Charter Oak Apartments and Busby Suites, while the current Green Line services C Lot. This was done because large groups of students need to go to both places, said Dwight Atherton, associate director of parking and transportation services. Buses that primarily serve parking lots have been separated from those that serve residential areas to keep buses from getting too full.
The Purple Line primarily exists to serve the new K Lot, located on Discovery Drive across from the Innovation Partnership Building. The Red Line has changed to serve areas closer to the center of campus.
Lot L and the upper section of Lot X have already closed. The rest of Lot X and all of Lot N will close starting in the spring semester, according to UConn Today. These lots primarily served commuter students and employees, who have been and will be accommodated in other lots.
Atherton said several of UConn’s lots have been consistently underutilized, so Parking Services has regrouped displaced parkers into those underused lots.
Lot-specific permits have been implemented to ensure no lots are underused and reliable transportation is available to and from them, Atherton said. Because buses could not predict which lots would be full in the past, shuttle services were inefficient and some parking lots were full while others were nearly empty.
Many of these changes were implemented based on observations of student ridership. Katharine Otto, AICP, a shared transportation planner for UConn’s facilities operations and WRTD terms this “voting with your feet.”
UConn has added a new shuttle, Parking Express, that will run during the “off-peak” hours of 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays. It will serve lots C, F, J and K. The change was implemented to conserve buses at times when not as many students need to go to the parking lots. This shuttle will come every 25 minutes instead of the usual 10 or 15.
Every parking lot on campus is served by a shuttle, Atherton said. Students can visit park.uconn.edu and transpo.uconn.edu for more information.
Keely Greiner is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org