University of Wisconsin Transportation Services staff, students, other university employees and interested community members attended an informational forum Wednesday at the Microbial Sciences building to discuss proposed changes to campus bus services.
According to the UW Transportation Services website, the proposed changes to the current campus bus services will help improve on-time performance, reduce crowding and improve accessibility for riders with disabilities. These changes will go into effect Sept. 1, 2020.
One of the proposed changes will adjust mid-day services, which normally run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Transportation Services Commuter Solutions Manager Darwin Ward said with the current campus bus services, there are often excess buses going to Eagle Heights during this time, while buses running across central campus are overcrowded.
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In order to allocate resources more efficiently, Ward said under the proposed changes, there would be nine buses in total commuting across central campus during the middle of the day, an increase from seven, to help reduce crowding.
Ward said two of the nine buses would travel to Eagle Heights, compared to four currently.
Another proposed change will be to adjust the current late night bus services run by Route 81 and Route 82. Ward said instead of starting services at 6 p.m., Route 81 and Route 82 would begin running at 9 p.m.
Ward said Route 81 would serve up to Franklin Street on the east side, compared to Ingersoll Street under the current system, and Route 82 would serve up to Walnut Street on the west side, compared to Breese Terrace currently.
“It’s essentially taking the entire system, scooting it west several blocks,” Ward said. “It reduces duplication of service with other Madison Metro routes, and the main reason to do this is to save money so that we can transfer that money and use it at a different time for adding buses at other times of the day.”
The other proposed change would increase bus services during the weekend. According to survey responses collected from riders, many bus users desire service to make travelling on weekends easier, Ward said.
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The next open forum is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23 from 7-8 p.m. in the Caucus Room at the Student Activity Center.