Designated scheduling helps Cat Tran cut down wait time
Tuesday August 21, 2001 |
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Improved timing on routes helps alleviate late arrival of shuttles
With the dawn of a new school year, UA officials said the Campus Shuttle Program - Cat Tran - has made changes in its services to become more user-friendly.
Patrick Kass, director of University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services, said the biggest change the shuttle program made was to put the buses on timed routes.
Kass said in the previous system, the shuttle would arrive at stops every 10 to 15 minutes. Under the new rules, shuttles will arrive at specific stops at designated times.
"The change was made to make the shuttles more user-friendly for customers," he said.
The change took effect Aug. 13, and the shuttles will continue to run on the new schedule until further notice.
Under the old system, Kass said, some passengers were forced to wait 10 to 15 minutes for a shuttle, not knowing if it had just left or was on its way to a bus stop.
"It was late all the time (last semester)," Tiffany Lewis-Roberts, a physiology senior, said. "Sometimes I'd have to wait 30 minutes."
Kass said drivers under the new system now have a specific time schedule to follow and passengers will know exactly when a shuttle will arrive at that particular stop.
"The shuttles were all pretty good about arriving on time (yesterday)," Lewis-Roberts added, "One (driver) was 15 minutes late so he had to cut some stops but he got right back on schedule."
The shuttle-system schedule of stops was determined based on the popularity of specific routes.
Kass added that the time differential between certain routes was in part due to heavy traffic conditions around some parts of campus.
With Cherry Avenue now open to traffic, transportation time has been cut significantly. Kass said the conversion to the new system required no significant increase in spending or budget additions.
"We are better using our existing resources - we were just able to use our resources more efficiently," Kass said.
Kass said students with Zone 1 parking permits do not have to struggle with finding parking on campus because the shuttle service may transport them to buildings throughout the university from off-campus lots.
"The bus is a much more effective way to get around campus than using a car," Kass said.
He added that the department has made other improvements to the shuttle buses such as the installation of seatbelts for those with small children.
The shuttle system, which transported over 318,000 people last year, is a free service for faculty, staff, students and visitors and runs Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The schedule for the new timed route system for Cat Tran may be found at the Parking and Transportation office, on any Cat Tran shuttle bus or on the department's Web site at http://parking.arizona.edu.