Students start petition for route extension

Amber Foley

Two students are circulating a petition this week to add three bus stops to the Campus Connector route.
Maureen Hilson and Katie Sisum, both College of Liberal Arts sophomores, started the petition about one week ago to add stops near Dinnaken House, Argyle House and University Village.
The nearest bus stop is at least four blocks away, Sisum said.
“There are so many people, and the bus isn’t very accessible to us,” she added.
Within three hours of starting the petition, Sisum said they had gathered more than five pages of names.
At Argyle House alone, Sisum and Hilson said they have collected about 170 names. A petition at Dinnaken House has about doubled that, and the students plan to start a petition at University Village soon.
The petitions will circulate for about one more week.
“If they can run by Sanford to pick up those students, why can’t they pick up students near University Village?” she asked. The East Bank Circulator has several stops in Dinkytown and in front of Sanford Hall.
Sisum and Hilson said they would like the Campus Connector to follow Washington Avenue for an additional block, stopping near Harvard Market and Burger King instead of turning on Oak Street. The bus would then continue on to the intersection of Washington and University avenues, stopping at that corner. The route would continue onto its current path via Fourth Street.
Roger Huss, assistant director of transportation, said many factors need to be considered before a change could be made.
Huss said transportation officials would first have to consider how often the bus stops would be used.
“Would students use the stop once a year, once a day or once an hour?” he asked.
Other considerations would include the potential time delay other students would have because of extra stops, he said. Cost would be another factor because bus stop signs and maps would need to be changed.
Buses might also be more crowded with three extra stops, and more buses would probably be needed.
In addition, a University policy prohibits the connector from stopping at privately owned buildings, Huss said. Another University policy limits stops to at least three blocks apart.
Because of this three-block rule, the bus stop near University Village might need to be eliminated from Hilson and Sisum’s plan.
“It’s something that would be nice, but is not crucial,” Huss said. “We have to weigh in all the factors.”
Hilson and Sisum both said they realize that any change wouldn’t happen overnight.
“This is going to be more work than we thought,” Hilson said. “It’s something that we want to shoot for; it would be awesome if it happened in a year, but we know that probably won’t happen, and we don’t want to get students’ hopes up.”

Amber Foley welcomes comments at [email protected]