Students relying on public transportation to get around will be pleased with the new opportunities offered by the University at Buffalo.
The UB Stampede, which until recently travelled only between North and South Campus, is expanding its route to include features in the surrounding suburbs. The infamous Mall Bus, which operates Wednesdays and Saturdays and stops at Tops on Maple Road, Wegmans, and the Boulevard Mall, will soon include the Walden Galleria.
The bus will run every 15 minutes and can be recognized by the market and mall signs on the bus's exterior.
Maria Wallace, director of Parking and Transportation Services, is pleased with the Stampede's new transportation routes.
"We've had these plans in motion for a long time, but we wanted it to be a surprise for the students. I know how boring North Campus can be, and without a car I understand how students sometimes need to get out and go somewhere," Wallace said.
In addition, the Anti-Rape Task Force safety shuttle will be expanding its services to include any and all destinations in Amherst, the city of Buffalo and Canada, as far as the Toronto city limit.
This new travel plan is a vast improvement over the old rules, which limited eager travelers to destinations in a 1.5 mile radius from South Campus.
Jane Fischer, director of SBI Health Services, which runs the ARTF shuttle, spearheaded the new transportation plans.
"[The ARTF van] is famous around campus, but we get a lot of complaints about not being able to take students as far as they want to go. By expanding the range of the van, we can please a lot more of the student body, as well as promote safety," Fischer said.
PTS and Health Services have come up with an efficient way of making this new program run cohesively, without too much money coming out of UB's budget.
"With the money that came from [Methods of Inquiry] being shut down, UB had a surplus, and it was handed over to us. We thought, ‘What's better to do with our money than help students get from party to party, bar to bar, safely?'" Fischer said.
Understandably, student response to the new transportation opportunities on campus has been very positive.
"That sounds really great. I used to take the Stampede to the Boulevard Mall all the time when I was a freshman and thought it was totally lame. The Galleria is so much better, but since I don't have a car, it's pretty hard for me to get there. It's a great improvement; the Galleria has a much better selection of corsets and petticoats than the Boulevard," said Jane Austen, a junior English major.
Courtney Thompson, a senior communications major, liked the new Stampede and ARTF routes because of the easier accessibility to UB and Buffalo's party scenes.
"That [stuff] is hot," Thompson said. "You don't know how many times my girls and I will be partying it up and all of a sudden we're like, ‘We have to call the rape van, but they don't come that far.' Then we need to call all these random guys we never talk to and hope they'll come get us at 3 a.m. and all this annoying [stuff]."
Many UB students are eager to embrace the new ARTF shuttle route in order to become better acquainted with Canada, UB's neighbor to the north.
"It'll be so nice to get to know Canada. They have such a rich history and culture, and the citizens aren't annoying at all," said Carol Atwood, a sophomore mechanical engineering major. "I love Toronto, and if UB is getting me there on their dime, why shouldn't I take advantage of it?"
Additional funds for these new bus and shuttle routes have been said to come from the School of Nursing, the school library budget and the charter from Generation magazine.
The new routes for the Stampede and ARTF shuttle should go into effect sometime after the apocalypse of 2012. UB students are urged not to seek more information on this transportation change.