Panther shuttle schedule changes receives negative feedback

Photo courtesy of Natalie Reyes

 

Maria Britos/ Contributing Writer

The University shuttle service implemented a new schedule by extending operation hours, but students across campuses have responded negatively to the changes.

The Department of Parking and Transportation added more hours to the Golden Panther Express Shuttle schedule, traveling between the Biscayne Bay campus and the Modesto Maidique Campus.

The shuttle now arrives and departs every 15 to 20 minutes, instead of every half hour. This means the shuttle now departs from MMC and BBC 30 times a day, compared to the previous 25 visits.

Most of the new times are during the shuttle’s busiest hours.

Lissette Hernandez, Parking and Transportation director, says the new schedule comes from an increase in students using the bus to attend classes at both campuses.

The department also added an extra bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to accommodate the increase in passengers, along with a shadow bus to troubleshoot emergencies on the road.

The shadow bus is to make sure no passengers headed to MMC are left at BBC after the last scheduled bus, and vice versa, according to Hernandez.

Although the changes are an effort to accommodate the demand for the shuttle, some passengers are still unsatisfied with the University’s transportation system.

Tardy shuttle arrivals have upset students.

For Jenelle Smith, a junior communications major, traveling to and from BBC is always a dilemma.

“I was supposed to take the 4:15 p.m. bus and it came around 4:20 p.m.,” said Smith. “So we didn’t get to leave until like 4:40 p.m.”

After experiencing this on numerous occasions, Smith said she now catches the bus two hours before class starts, just in case there is traffic or other malfunctions.

The department said they are analyzing the cause of the tardy busses in light of the new schedule.

Since 2011, the price per trip has increased to from $2 to $2.50 for a one-way trip.

Although shuttle operation hours were extended and additional buses were added, the price to catch a ride will not increase this year.

“I think it’s too expensive for a college student,” said Smith. “The Wi-Fi doesn’t always work and, a lot of times, the card machines don’t work.”

Sophomore psychology major Carlos Mor said he hasn’t experienced any major inconveniences with the shuttle, other than it not always arriving on time.

“It was an issue if you couldn’t catch the bus and you had to wait for another hour until the next bus arrived,” said Mor. “By then, you probably already missed half the class.”

Smith and Mor both agreed the Golden Panther Express should extend the schedule to Friday nights.

“There was one time I wasn’t able to take the bus back to MMC because the buses weren’t offered Friday nights,” said Mor.

-bbc@fiusm.com

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