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Rutgers returns to pre-pandemic bus routes for fall 2021 with several changes to stops

The University will no longer move forward with its proposal for six color-coded bus routes in favor of the previous nine letter bus routes, excluding certain stops and shuttles. – Photo by Rutgersguy /

In a reversal of the decision to use six color-coded bus routes for the Fall 2021 semester, the University will return to the nine letter routes used before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic with a reduced number of stops.

Prior to the pandemic, Rutgers used 32 bus stops across campuses, but the proposed color routes would only have 10 total stops. The following stops have been added back: Busch Student Center, Allison Road Classroom Building, Werblin Recreation Center (Front Entrance), Stadium West Lot, Busch-Livingston Health Center, College Avenue Student Center, Student Activities Center, Gibbons and Biel Road.

The following stops will not be used for fall 2021: Zimmerli Art Museum, Visitor Center, Library of Science and Medicine, Engineering Building, Busch Suites, Buell Apartments, Werblin Recreation Center (Back Entrance), Quads, Paterson Street, Rockoff Hall (Liberty Street), Public Safety Building, Food Science Building, Henderson, Katzenbach and New Brunswick Train Station.

The Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and New BrunsQuick shuttles remain canceled. An additional stop was added at the SoCam 290 Apartments for students who have classes on Livingston Avenue or want to access downtown New Brunswick amid the ongoing road closure on George Street, said Assistant Director of Transit Services John Karakoglou and Henry Velez, vice president of business services for Institutional Planning and Operations.

“The stops that have been established were determined through findings from our analysis, including low ridership numbers, good pedestrian and bicycle alternatives and a short walk (typically 5 to 10 minutes or less) to another existing bus stop or key destinations,” they said. “This will improve the bus service by increasing the frequency of service and reducing wait times while prioritizing academic trips on campus.”

The team that oversaw the bus route changes aimed to keep stops within a 5-minute walk of commuter parking, a 10-minute walk of academic buildings and a 15-minute walk of key locations on campus, Velez and Karakoglou said. They said the team used feedback from the Rutgers community to make the changes.

Student ambassadors will be placed at key stops during the semester to answer questions or collect additional feedback, Velez and Karakoglou said. The team will also launch outreach events across campus and an online survey to assess the routes and stops and make changes accordingly if needed.

Face masks will remain required on the buses, Velez and Karakoglou said.

“With the upcoming changes to the class grids, we have been working with the scheduling department to limit the amount of trips that a (student) must take to get to classes,” they said. “We encourage all to walk to their campus destinations when possible and only use the buses for traveling campus to campus and not for intra-campus travel.”

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