Campus construction forces DOTS to change bus routes

By Maggie DeBlasis

A lot of adjustments come with a new school year: new classes, new roommates, and this year, new bus routes.

“I mean it’s definitely something I need to get used to because it’s different,” junior English major Emily Tuttle said.

“I think the thing that throws me off more is the construction they have to work around because the construction is what’s making them have to do the new routes,” Tuttle said.

“But at the same time that’s what I have to maneuver around, and I think that’s what’s more prevalent.”

bus

Photo by Hayden Williams

Students returned to campus in August to construction vehicles, interrupted pathways and altered bus routes that stirred mixed emotions for students.

“I don’t necessarily like how the Blue bus doesn’t go to Stamp anymore,” senior psychology major Jenna Sheldon said. “But I do like how it gets to Montgomery faster, so it’s kind of a give or take, I guess.”

Shuttle UM’s Operations and Planning Manager Kevin Hernandez said they revamped bus routes because of construction of the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center between H.J. Patterson Hall and former Holzapfel Hall, causing Campus Drive to become a one-way street.

“The most difficult part in rearranging these routes was trying to service all the locations serviced by the former routes and keeping them efficient,” Hernandez said.

There are also good parts to these modifications. Some stops that buses used to only service at night now have daytime access, such as the Fraternity Row stop. It’s convenient and also provides a safer option for pedestrians and on-campus traffic.

“I’m in a sorority,” said junior journalism major Jaclyn Turner. “[The bus] goes from Commons to the sorority house and it’ll take me to Stamp or the gym, a little bit of everywhere, so it’s convenient.”

Hernandez said students, professors and visitors should expect more changes in the near future from the anticipated construction of the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line light rail system next summer and continued campus construction, which is set to last until at least 2021.

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