The university needs more reliable bus systems
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 21:10
We all know everyone goes down to South Campus on Saturdays for the football games and the tailgates. Students have a great time eating and hanging out with friends, whether they go watch the game or spend time socializing. But then when students decide to retire to their dorms, houses and apartments, they have to stand at the bus shelter, waiting for ages, until they realize that the only buses that run on the weekends are the Late Bird, which doesn’t start until 10 p.m., and the special football shuttle, which appears to come at half past never.
I just don’t understand. It’s not like the university is unaware that students go to the stadium to enjoy the games. Their entire staff of bike cops, police on horses and patrolmen is all over the student tailgate area and the stadium, but there are no faculty driving buses in sight. Most Saturdays when I want to go to the game, I end up walking to the stadium because I give up standing at Perkins Student Center waiting for the football shuttle without knowing when it’s coming because it’s not on the university’s bus application. Yet, by the time I get to the bridge, that is when the bus passes me, of course.
Buses seem to be plentiful while you’re enjoying your hot dog and veggie burger with your soda basking in the company of friends at the student tailgate. You talk yourself into thinking that there will always be buses coming, so you have another burger and soda while kicking back your feet before the game. While you’re walking to the game there are still buses, so you decide to enjoy the first half.
But after the half time show when you want to go back to your dorm or apartment because you have to get ready for the other plans you’ve made for the night, there’s not a bus in sight. You go to check the bus application on your smart phone, only to realize that it’s not even listed as one of the options, so you just have to stand there with the other stranded students waiting for the bus. Eventually you get so frustrated you start walking back.
It’s not that the walk to and from the sports complexes on South Campus is that far, it’s just that the university should know that there are a few thousand students down at the stadium for the football game and should actually care about making sure they have a safe mode of transportation back to their residences.
There are also discrepancies in the data provided on the university’s transportation app as to when the bus is supposed to be arriving at a certain stop. Just this past week I was waiting for the Express at Smith Overpass to get to my flag football championship game at Delaware Stadium. I easily waited for 25 minutes, without a bus showing up, making me late to my game. Not only is the Express supposed to be running every ten minutes to each stop, but the app said it was running every four minutes until the next bus got there. I personally do not rely on the bus system to get to any of my classes, but this is unacceptable for people who depend buses to campus everyday. There is no reason for the app to be that far off, when people rely on it to get to and from places.
The university wants more students to support our athletic teams that play on South Campus, like volleyball, field hockey and soccer, but who wants to go watch those games knowing there is a possibility of being stranded and having to walk back to Main Campus? The Friday before homecoming, one of my friends and I took a bus down to the Bob Carpenter Center to watch the volleyball team play and to get the homecoming Cockpit shirt. We stayed for the entire game and then ran to the bus stop just as the last Express bus was coming. The bus was already packed and there were about twenty other people at the stop. The driver said it was the last Express bus for the night and that we’d have to walk or wait for the late night buses.
Of course it started pouring, so walking back to the dorms was not an option for us. My friend and I, along with about fifteen other people, huddled into the Field House bus shelter to escape the rain as we waited almost an hour for a bus to finally show up. If the university wants us to support our athletic teams, maybe it should make sure that students actually have transportation to and from the sporting events.