In recent months, students have reported that the transportation system at the University of Connecticut has experienced a decline in reliability, leaving students and staff grappling with unexpected disruptions and delays. The previous network of Husky Go buses and shuttles that connected various parts of the campus and surrounding areas now struggles to maintain punctuality and convenience.
The Husky Go service is operated via UConn’s partnership with the Windham Region Transit District. WRTD provides bus service to the greater Mansfield and Willimantic region including Columbia, Coventry, Lebanon, Willington and Windham. The express bus service to Hartford, Springfield, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island is operated by CT Transit and its subcontractors.
One of the amenities advertised by UConn Transportation Services is the new Passio Go app, which is designed to track buses in real time. The transit monitors in the UConn Student Union and Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center also use Passio technology. While the intentions of these resources are appreciated, many students feel that it is an unreliable method of anticipating bus service.
“When I started this year, I downloaded the app,” said Jack Scott, a first-semester sociology major. “But I don’t believe what it says sometimes.”
UConn Transportation formerly used another tracking app, TransLoc Rider, until this year, a shift undergone at numerous other colleges.
Some service disruptions have risen noticeably. Some of these may be due to planned route alterations due to campus projects such as South Campus construction; however, some shuttles have reportedly not stopped at some of their planned route stops. UConn Transportation does not currently provide a comprehensive timetable as most transit organizations do, but rather a schedule of service times and general arrival intervals on their webpage. Some students have also reported buses “disappearing” from the Passio Go map, rendered temporarily invisible on the app, and inaccurate arrival estimates.
The Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center, intended as a transit hub in Downtown Storrs, provides a multi-fold purpose for both UConn and the City of Mansfield. Connected to a large parking complex on Royce Circle, the center also houses offices for the Mansfield Downtown Partnership and a branch location of the Mansfield Public Library with a large lobby providing convenient seating.
Inside, there are two large televisions with the WRTD Passio map and timetable pamphlets for regional connecting services. However, the lack of real-time communication regarding delays has also presented frustrations since the WRTD does not staff this location.
“I wanted to take the bus to the East Brook Mall [in Mansfield Center] on a day off from class,” said John MacDonald, a third-semester psychology major. “Sadly the bus skipped over the stop [at Nash-Zimmer] and I had to wait for an hour.”
As students grapple with these transportation challenges, the reliability of the system remains a pressing issue for the UConn community.