UNT’s bus route changes are for the greater good

UNT’s bus route changes are for the greater good

UNT’s bus route changes are for the greater good
August 10
12:42 2017

Much to the chagrin of students, UNT unveiled changes to its bus routes Wednesday via Twitter. Buses will no longer enter the center of campus, and instead, riders will be dropped off at either the Student Union or Fouts Field.

Gone will be the front door service to the Business Leadership Building.

While the changes might come as a surprise to bus-riding students, it is all a part of the university’s plan – and for good reason. The transportation department wants to avoid raising the student transportation fee, which has remained the same since its first year of existence in 2003. UNT and the Denton County Transportation Agency partnered together in 2003 to provide bus services to campus and have been in a steady partnership ever since.

DCTA is unbothered by the changes, according to DCTA president Jim Cline.

“DCTA is proud to partner with UNT and contribute to the university’s vision of a more safe and walkable campus,” Cline said.

Unfortunately, the previous bus system was frankly unsustainable. As the cost of maintaining buses rises, the fee must go up, or changes must be made to the system, especially when you consider it costs $3.50 per hour for the current bus routes with front door service, according to UNT transit operations director Christopher L. Phelps.

Instead of raising the fee and making students pay more, the university has wisely decided it will make changes to the system.

Parts of routes, like the Sam Bass route that runs down Westminster Street, Londonberry Lane and Sam Bass Boulevard will see fewer buses. Considering this area has far more residential housing than student housing, it only makes sense to decrease bus traffic.

In fact, this will tentatively be the final year the Sam Bass route operates due to the decrease in riders.

“We’ve seen a drop in student traffic in that area,” Phelps said. “People who ride the buses over there will tell you they are close to empty. We wanted to let people know that this will be the final year because some people may have signed leases over there based on the bus’s availability.”

But for other routes and the system as a whole, the contrary is true.

“The bus system is thriving,” Phelps said. “This campus is growing and has plans to grow. All of this is part of the master plan of the campus. We are not doing this randomly.”

It may be annoying to not get dropped off smack dab in the middle of campus, but UNT is doing the right thing, and has meticulously planned this out. The Union is only a 10 to 15 minute walk to virtually anywhere on campus, so the tradeoff is more than fair. As students, we pay enough fees as it is, so the commitment to avoid raising the transportation fee is a welcomed sign.

The changes are being implemented at a time when you can make it part of your new routine as we all settle in for the fall semester. It may be slightly aggravating at first, but the buses will run faster by avoiding foot traffic, meaning you should get to your destination even quicker.

Plus, look on the bright side. You are now way less likely to get hit by a bus on your way to class.

Featured illustration by Samuel Wiggins

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

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1 Comment

  1. Monica
    Monica August 11, 13:47

    Walking clear across campus in the heat? The rain? The cold? Sounds like a great idea!

    Reply to this comment

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