New bus route, stops hit campus

A new bus route will travel University Avenue Southeast beginning late Sept. 4.

New bus route, stops hit campus

Kate Clark

Following student requests, the University of Minnesota’s campus bus system will sport new stops and debut an additional route beginning this week.

The new bus route, called the University Avenue Circulator, will run from Third Avenue to 23rd Avenue and begin late on Sept. 4. It will regularly operate from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Also, three stops are new for the East Bank Circulator and the Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator.

Buses will now service 15th Avenue and Fourth Street, the Variety Club Research Center on East River Parkway and the Carlson School of Management on 19th Avenue South. The stop near Seven Corners will be discontinued, said Jacqueline Brudlos, a spokeswoman for Parking and Transportation Services. 

University officials say results from a transit survey, which PTS and the Minnesota Student Association administered last spring semester, led to the bus route changes, and they plan to tap students again in the coming year in light of impending switches to campus transportation.

The department analyzed the information before conducting meetings with stakeholders over the summer.

Brudlos said they considered changing the routes even before the survey. She said when University buses returned to Washington Avenue Southeast in December, PTS addressed feedback regarding the bus routes.

“The final decision was made to leave the routes mostly as they were,” she said.

MSA President Joelle Stangler said the transit survey showed that many students wanted the routes to run through Dinkytown and they were disappointed that transportation coordinators cut the Campus Connector’s stop at Jones Hall and Eddy Hall last winter.

“I wish they would go back to the [Campus Connector] route they had first semester last year where it went to Dinkytown,” sophomore Nettie Enshayan said. “That was nice because it was close to some of my other classes.”

In contrast, sophomore Sierra Servi-Sereno said she has no qualms with the bus system.

So far, she said, her experience with University transportation has been better than the bus system in Madison, Wis., where she is from.

PTS is planning on partnering with the Office of Measurement Services to conduct another survey later this semester to gauge students’ receptiveness to the changes, Brudlos said.

Stangler said student input on a topic like this is important, because students make up most of the campus population.

“The pulse of the campus community is students, so if they’re frustrated, it ripples through everything else,” Stangler said. “We want to make sure students have the most positive experience on campus. That comes down to being able to easily get to class.”