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Get on board with the newly revised UB Stampede schedule

Modifications include an expansion of the ‘Fun Run’ and rebranding routes

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UB Parking and Transportation services has revised its bus schedule that started the first day of the fall 2016 semester.

Some students are happy, while others wish changes were made sooner. The modified schedule includes new route names, a “fun run” and a revised weekend schedule to better address the larger population of students, said Chris Austin, assistant director of Parking & Transportation Services.

Austin said rebranding the routes will help new and returning students identify which bus is which based on destination.

The green line runs from the Center for Tomorrow lot, Crofts Hall, Flint Village and Flint Loop. The blue line runs to South Campus and the red line is the Lee-Ellicott express service.

The evening service on Friday and Saturdays has been reduced to a bus service every 15 to 20 minutes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and every 60 minutes after 2 a.m., according to Austin.

On Aug. 31, Parking and Transportation services introduced the Stampede Fun Run, which features “Maple Road entertainment options” and transports students to places such as Anchor Bar, AMC Theater and Planet Fitness.

“We’re really looking to provide students with services that take them out, whether it’s to eat, play, watch sports, catch a movie – whatever type of entertainment we can get students to as opposed to the evening late night service that has transported many students in the past to UB’s South Campus,” Austin said.

The Stampede is the busiest from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, according to Austin. That is the Stampede “peak time.”

Austin said when there is more of a demand, more buses are sent out. There are 28 total Stampede buses with 75 bus drivers who work through First Transit, a national bus company in addition to 24 shuttle bus drivers who work directly through UB.

Austin said Stampede buses and shuttles are tracked via GPS units and were upgraded to 4G over the summer. He said the system updates vehicle locations faster and with increased accuracy.

According to Austin, students can follow buses and shuttles real time by accessing the Transportation Tracker via UB Mobile and clicking on the “Transport” tab.

Austin said Parking and Transportation services will be able to compare and contrast the new routes to measure its success. He said the Stampede has several mechanisms for tracking how many students board the bus each time. There is a swipe card access that tallies the number of UB students and faculty who board the bus as well as an automated passenger counting system that tracks how many passengers get on and off.

Some students wish these changes had been made sooner.

Andrew Meyer, a junior business administration major, said he wishes the Fun Run service was around when he was a freshman.

Jenny Simon, a sophomore English and linguistics major, said she takes the Stampede every day to class. She hasn’t taken the Fun Run service yet, but she said she most likely will use it to go to the Galleria Mall.

Other students are still unhappy with some of the bus services.

Gabriel Sturdivant, a sophomore undecided major, said he thinks the drivers are all “very nice” but “whoever does the dispatching needs to step it up” and feels the bus schedule favors North Campus more than South.

Sturdivant said he waited for the Stampede for almost an hour at the Flint bus stop because the buses skipped his stop three times since they were all full.

Austin said transportation services take passenger “overloads” and “under loads” into consideration. He said he can decrease or increase bus capacity if necessary.

“Our biggest goal is to move students within and between the two campuses as quickly as we can in a safe manner and to meet their transit needs and to get them where they need to go when they need to get there,” Austin said.

Hannah Stein is a senior news editor and can be reached at hannah.stein@ubspectrum.com.


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