Unitrans is making changes to several of its routes for the upcoming year. The adjustments went into effect Monday and will continue throughout the school year.
While the majority of Unitrans routes will remain the same for the upcoming year, changes have been made to the K, W and P/Q lines, said Anthony Palmere, assistant general manager of administration for Unitrans.
“A portion of the K and P/Q lines are being swapped, so that the P/Q will run on Arlington [Boulevard] and the K will run on Humboldt [Avenue] and Arthur [Street],” Palmere said in an e-mail interview. “The W line will be changed to run the loop at the east end of the line in the opposite direction, via Cowell [Boulevard] to Lillard [Drive] and Drummond [Avenue] then back to Cowell [Boulevard].”
The changes are an attempt to improve the on-time reliability of bus lines, particularly the P/Q lines, which have experienced problems with this in the past.
“[Unitrans] buses are usually pretty good about getting to stops on time, but I have noticed the P and Q lines are usually at least 5 to 7 minutes late,” said Josephine Trinh, a junior English major who says she normally rides the P/Q lines to go to the city library. “It isn’t a big delay, but it is annoying, especially if you need to get to somewhere like class.”
Unitrans hopes the new efforts to streamline the P/Q route will change this.
“The P/Q lines are very long lines which have poor on-time performance and often run late,” Palmere said. “With the P/Q now running on the more direct route via Arlington [Boulevard], its on-time performance should improve. The changes are aimed at bringing every line to achieve an on-time performance of at least 90 percent.”
In addition to the bus line changes for the upcoming year, the construction of the new Silo bus terminal will change the campus departure locations for certain lines.
The A, L, C and D lines, all of which arrive and depart from either the Shields terminal or the Art Building will now begin and end at the new Silo terminal, according to a report released by Unitrans for the 2008-2009 year. The A and L lines will continue to provide service to the Shields terminal and Art Building stops, but the C and D will not. In addition, the Life Sciences Addition stop on Hutchison Drive will be discontinued.
Unitrans also plans on initiating the use of a J express line, which would run along or down Hutchison Drive to Highway 113, then continue on to Covell Boulevard and Sycamore. It would run in the afternoon during peak times in order to alleviate overcrowding issues.
Palmere said there were also plans for a “U-DASH” bus earlier this year that would provide direct service from campus to downtown during lunch hours. However, despite strong support from staff and students, it failed to materialize due to funding issues. It may be up and running as early as next summer, he said.
ERICA LEE can be reached at email@example.com.