The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024
Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024

Transit introduces more route changes

Off-campus bus riders should start preparing for changes as Transportation Services announced another round of route adjustments scheduled to begin in the fall.
The Oney Hervey stop will be eliminated from Route 31. Route 33 will be combined with Route 34 to create one route, 35, which will now utilize the passage under Wellborn. Route 36 is combining the Jones Butler and Holleman stops. The changes were made in light of low ridership numbers collected by Transportation Services throughout the year.
Adjustments are coming not only as a result of ridership, but also because Transportation Services has a limited amount of buses that must be shared among all routes. Peter Lange, executive director for Transportation Services, said the department has limited funds due to changes made in 2012 to the University Advancement Fee, UAF.
“Under the new University Advancement Fee, transit funding is no longer linked to enrollment,” Lange said. “Requests for additional revenue are not guaranteed, must be made one year in advance and have resulted in significantly less transit funding than the previous, student-approved transit fee. This has inhibited our ability to match increasing demand with service levels as well as diminished our ability to develop a comprehensive long range bus replacement plan.”
The UAF gathers fees from each student and then divides them among various departments. Travis Walters, junior biomedical engineering major and student senator on the Transportation Services Advisory Committee, said Transportation Services’ budget was cut when the University switched to the UAF system.
“[With the old fee system], students were paying $70 a semester,” Walters said. “When you get 1,500 extra students, then you’re getting 1,500-times-70 extra money. [Transportation] was able to grow their budget proportionally to the student population growth, which is something that is pretty vital. Relative with that, the UAF, the budget does not grow at an equivalent rate with the student population. It does grow a bit each year, but it’s not a proportional rate.”
One change is the combination of Route 33, which services students to the local Walmart, and Route 34. Transportation Services will be able to save a bus by making the switch, but Madeline Dillard, assistant director of Transit, said Transportation Services does recognize a drawback to the change.
“Stops were not eliminated, just relocated — a few that are within a five to 10 minute walk to the new location.” Dillard said.
As a bus driver, Walters said he thinks the changes planned are beneficial.
“I actually was a fan of the right changes,” Walters said. “I like the combination of 33 and 34. Not only was it four buses, they shared a stop at Trigon. So logistically speaking, if one bus is running late a little bit and one bus is running early by a little bit, they’re getting there at the same time.”

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