Students criticize bus route detours, changes

2012-09-14T01:57:00Z Students criticize bus route detours, changesAbby Becker
September 14, 2012 1:57 am  • 

With fewer routes and longer wait times, some University of Wisconsin-Madison students said changes to campus bus routes are “inconvenient.”

As of Aug. 26, routes 80, 81 and 85 changed due to a budget deficit of $1 million and campus area construction, specifically near the Memorial Union, according to UW-Madison Transportation Services.

Student Services Finance Committee Vice Chair Joe Vanden Avond said eliminating route 85 and merging it with the “super” route 80 is the biggest change. The new route runs on Dayton and Lake Streets instead of Charter Street and Observatory Drive, with stops closed at the Memorial Union and near the Van Hise building.

UW-Madison sophomore Austin Ciccati said it takes him much longer to get to his classes in buildings along Observatory Drive from his dorm at Dejope Hall.

“I have a lot of classes in the Social Sciences building, so it definitely takes me a lot longer,” Ciccati said.

It is nearly a 20-minute walk from Dejope Hall to the humanities building and a 15 to 20 minute bus ride on route 80, which arrives about every six minutes, according to Google Maps.

Other changes include a decrease in the late-night route 81 arrival time from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

Metro Transit Marketing & Customer Service Manger Mick Rusch said the increased wait time is permanent, but the altered 81 route will return to its original path on Linden and Observatory Drive when Memorial Union construction is completed.

Walking across campus from Gorham Street to Dejope Hall takes about 30 minutes, and 15 minutes by bus, according to Google Maps. With the doubled 30 minute wait time, it may take approximately the same time to walk.

UW-Madison sophomore Jacob Berchem, who also lives in Dejope Hall, said he noticed the longer wait time traveling across campus.

“[Using the buses] was absolutely easier last year,” Berchem said.

While second year students such as Berchem and Ciccati say they miss the old routes, UW-Madison freshman Natalie Loranger said she has had a positive Metro bus experience.

“[The buses] have been really convenient,” Loranger said. “They always go right where I need to go.”

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