With the addition of a few new campus bus stops as well as the University Avenue Circulator line, students have an increased number of options available to them. This increase in access to convenient, safe and reliable public transportation is crucial for University of Minnesota students.
After the Minnesota Student Association and Parking and Transportation Services worked together to gather data about student transit needs, the new stops and circulator should target areas that were previously difficult to reach, required line changes or were plagued by construction.
Still, it’s important to note that the University Avenue Circulator is a pilot program and its operation time is scant. In service on Thursday to Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., this bus line is currently not operational during morning, lunch or evening rush hours when students could use extra transportation options.
We believe that any effort to reach out to students and factor in their views is worth applauding, but with only a few new stops, expansion will likely be necessary to increase the effectiveness of campus bus routes.
If the University Avenue Circulator is successful, it should act as an impetus for further expansion. That should first begin in the form of longer hours of service.
If the line’s ridership is high enough, PTS officials should consider expanding University-run buses into other main student neighborhoods, rather than just main roads in Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes.