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Students share what changes they would like to see in U. transportation system

Multiple Rutgers students say they experience major delays when using the bus system to travel from campus to campus. – Photo by Rutgers Student Affairs / Twitter

Rutgers’ busing system adjusts its bus schedule each year, which can impact the University community’s experience traveling to classes across campus.

Henry Velez, vice president of Business Services of Institutional Planning and Operations, and John Karakoglou, director of transportation, both said in a statement that as far as creating bus schedules and routes, there is a team that reviews student feedback that is received from Rutgers Student Affairs and other student-led organizations.

This team considers traffic data, surveys and more to evaluate the performance of the bus system and improve upon areas they deem necessary to alter, they said.

“Changes are made to routes based on ridership data, traffic patterns and travel times between campuses,” Velez and Karakoglou said. “For instance, this semester we added an express route between College Avenue and Cook/Douglass, which is the F express route that limits the amount of stops to get passengers to academic buildings quickly.”

They said that the changes made to the system each year also depend on the location and size of classes, locations of extracurricular meetings, how many on-campus residents there are and whether there are newly added facilities for students in certain locations.

Asha Chauhan, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said she uses the bus system daily but finds major inconveniences in using the system to travel to and from her nightly club meetings.

“I have club meetings on (the Cook and Douglass campus) late at night,” Chauhan said. “After a certain time, the REXB bus stops running, so I have to take a bus to (the College Avenue campus), and go back from (the College Avenue campus) to Busch, which makes it very inconvenient.”

She said in the future, she would like to see more bus stops added to the system’s routes that are closer to her apartment building on Busch campus. 

Chauhan also said the weekend bus system, in which each bus individually travels to every campus, is inconvenient for those who use it and should be removed completely.

Emily Schwartz, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said that while she does not use the buses often, she finds that she does not often travel to other campuses due to the difficulties that come with the experience.

She said that each time she attempts to take a bus, she waits a long time for it to come and always has to allocate extra time for herself as a precaution.

“I know there are a lot of factors that are out of the University’s control,” Schwartz said. “For example, typical New Brunswick traffic increases travel time. I think the only way to limit the crowdedness of the buses and ensure that they arrive in a more timely manner is to increase the number of lines running.”

Ashley West, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said although she rarely needs to use the buses this year, in the past, she has optimized certain stops in order to arrive at her classes.

“I travel between Livingston and (the College Avenue campus), and it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get there,” she said.

She said a change she would like to see in the bus system is new routes that could speed up the process of getting from one place on campus to another. She said especially during rush hour, getting to the College Avenue campus can take longer than 30 minutes.

Lanz Leroux, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, said he does not think that the bus system runs efficiently. He said that he only uses the buses to take him to Livingston campus, but he generally opts not to use them.

“I do have to use different stops,” he said. “They need more routes between Livingston and (the College Avenue campus).”

Velez and Karakoglou said using the bus system is the best option for Rutgers and works better than other transportation alternatives for moving around campuses.

“The reality is that the bus system is the most effective way to travel across campuses,” they said. “Use of personal vehicles or car services adds congestion to the local street/roads which slows down the buses and also those traveling by car.”

Velez and Karakoglou said the University continuously looks for ways to make the bus system better, and they continue to collaborate with multiple groups in their efforts.

“We encourage riders to use the transportation apps we have that allows users to see how full buses are before arrival at a stop and allows students to see when less crowded buses are due to arrive,” they said. “It may require the student to wait 10 to 15 minutes longer for a less crowded bus, or the student may get to a stop earlier to board a less crowded bus.”

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