Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: IU should bring back the old bus routes

<p>Students wait to board a bus March 9, 2020, outside the Indiana Memorial Union. </p>

Students wait to board a bus March 9, 2020, outside the Indiana Memorial Union.

IU buses need more routes to accommodate all students who need to get to campus.

With returning to mostly in-person classes this year, IU needs more bus routes than they did last year. Most students who live by or park at the stadium take the W or X buses which result in most of them being filled to capacity.

If IU offered more course options, the buses would not be as packed because some students would take a different bus that would get them closer to their classes.

Personally, I would benefit from having the A bus route back since IU discontinued it last year. It went from the stadium all the way around campus and back. All my classes this semester are in buildings that are not super close to any of the W or X stops, so I have to catch an earlier bus to give me enough time to get to class.

A bus driver told me on the first Thursday of every month, the W buses cannot go to the auditorium, so their last stop is at the Indiana Memorial Union. This results in students having to either take a different bus that day or get off at the IMU and walk even farther to their class. 

This could be avoided if there were more bus routes in general. 

The E and F buses have a somewhat similar route to that of the A bus, but neither of them go to the stadium, which is where lots of students get on or off the bus. 

“I kind of wish there was a bus that was solely just circling campus that would stop at areas like the Media School, IMU and Kelley,” sophomore Abby Cunningham said. “Just around those key buildings that a lot of people have classes.”

It is not that IU does not have enough buses — there are usually around five W buses running everyday while other routes have three to four buses going farther distances, according to DoubleMap. It is not unusual to see two W buses back-to-back with the first one being completely full and the other being nearly empty. 

“I was trying to get on the W the other day, and it said ‘sorry full load,’” Cunningham said.  “Then there was another one a couple cars behind it that was pretty much empty, so I wish they would space them out more.”

Brian R Noojin, director of IU Campus Bus Service, said in an August IDS article students have been experiencing extended bus delays on the campus bus service, which has caused them to arrive late to class.

Having more bus route options for students will help the traffic and wait time problems.

“I just wish the W buses were more regular because whenever I have to take it, I have to watch DoubleMap the whole time to see when it's going to be there because I just don’t know,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said a few weeks ago she had to cough on a bus and felt like she couldn’t because they were all packed in like sardines. 

“If they could get another bus route it would also help with COVID stuff,” she said. “There are so many people jammed into these buses.”

The Night Owl, a bus that ran late at night, was also removed. This route helped students safely get around campus at night. Although I never used it, it was nice knowing it was there just in case.

Students and bus drivers would benefit from having more routes around campus. Not only would it help the overcrowded bus problem, but it would also help students get to class easier and faster. 

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.

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