The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

University outlines new plan for transit

Changes coming to the 19 and nine bus routes
Photo by Mady Leick
Students and community members had the opportunity to give feedback at the meeting

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, a public meeting was held in Centennial addressing the upcoming bus route changes. With community leaders and students in attendance, the new changes were announced.

There will be a new logo at the bus stops to make them more recognizable, and as project leader and transit specialist Tina Deetz put it, it will be far more simple than the current one. 

The big changes focused on the 19 and nine bus schedules, beginning with a new name. Instead of the nine, there will be the Lower Campus route. Instead of the 19 there will be the Upper Campus route. Within the routes, there will be additional changes.

For the Lower Campus route, there will be a new transfer station that will connect to the larger system. The Station is expected to be ready by next fall, giving students the ability to travel beyond campus. 

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Upper Campus will see the moving of several stops around the Bollinger Fields. With the development of the Sonnentag Complex, a brand new stop will be put into place, giving students the opportunity to travel to the new facilities. 

The biggest update is an overhaul of the current schedule system. With the new routes currently planned, there will be 15 minute service between stops beginning at 7:42 a.m. and continuing until 6:15 p.m. After 6:30 there will only be one bus, continuing until 8:30 p.m. This is far different to the current system, which runs until 11:30 p.m. 

Photo by Mady Leick

The new schedule is not completely finalized, but it is being made in accordance with when classes get out. The new schedule also takes the drivers into account, Tina Deetz said.

“We came up with this with the drivers, they know who they pickup,” Deetz said. 

The updates come with some questions still unanswered. As it stands, there is no bus tracker, which can make things confusing for students.

“We had a bus tracker, a majority of the time it wasn’t working properly, we are actively (trying) to get a new one, without a tracker, a lot of the students don’t want to wait,” Deetz said.

The lack of answers on the tracking app and the shortened schedule left students confused and frustrated. Bonnie Downey, a first-year undeclared student held concerns about the updates to the Saturday route, which removed a stop on Lower Campus entirely. 

“I’m really concerned about the Saturday route not having a campus stop because I’ve relied on it to get to Davies to study or to see one of the movies they have in the theater,” Downey said.  

There was an opportunity at the meeting to leave post-it notes on a map with suggestions, with students leaving a few comments. Students having the opportunity to discuss with the transit team directly led to some mutual understanding. 

“There are some changes I’m not excited about but I understand where they are coming from,” Downey said.

Deetz spoke at the Student Senate meeting on Monday, Oct. 6. The Senate will now work through the legislation and if passed , the new agreement will go into effect at the start of the spring semester. 

Leick can be reached at l[email protected].

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