New bus route: a missed connection

The new Campus Connector route skips over a major part of campus.

Elizabeth Ireland

Shortly after returning to campus for the fall semester, I took a ride on the Campus Connector. I knew it would be different than the route I learned last year, but I wasnâÄôt prepared for how drastic the change would be.

The new Campus Connector route is a good compromise considering the war zone that was once Washington Avenue. The Campus Connectors, along with the East Bank Circulators, do a good job of hitting most of the main areas of campus. And unlike the jumbled and often hidden city bus stops around campus, the Connector stops are clearly marked with visible gold signs at each stop. Some stops even have maps of the new bus routes.

However, despite these many positives that make the transition to the new routes easier, a major drawback still exists. The closest Connector stop to the mall area and Coffman Union is at Jones Hall, despite the fact that the bus drives down Pleasant Avenue Southeast (directly behind the mall area) before crossing to West Bank.

ItâÄôs a small thing, but one that is sure to be a point of frustration for students who must watch Connectors blaze past them on their trek back to the bus stop, especially in the dead of winter.

According to Parking and Transportation Services, the congestion of pedestrians, city buses and civilian drivers is too heavy to safely accommodate any Connector stops in that area. But automotive and pedestrian traffic is congested in all parts of campus, and a lot of space on Pleasant Street is taken up by street parking. If that were to be eliminated in front of either Fraser, Appleby Hall or both, it seems that ample space would be created for a bus stop.                             

Overall, the new routes are well planned considering the circumstances. But what is now just a short walk through perfect temperatures will become a point of bitter complaint when the cold winds start to blow.

 

Elizabeth Ireland welcomes comments at [email protected]