RUTGERS STUDENTS UNSATISFIED WITH BUS SYSTEM
By Priya Ashish
It’s a new year for Rutgers University students – back to class, back to work, and for most of them, back to the inter-campus commutes on the RU buses.
“It’s always more crowded in the beginning of the year because none of the [first-year students] know what the hell they’re doing yet,” said Rutgers junior Carolyn McCormick.
The RU buses typically run once every five to seven minutes at each stop with six different inter-campus bus routes circulating throughout the day.
Rutgers increases the number of buses for the first few weeks of each semester to help new students get settled with their class schedule before reducing them four weeks later. According to the Department of Transportation, the university has never maintained the higher numbers throughout the semester.
“We evaluate the amount of people who ride the buses every day, and it’s never been an issue in the past,” said Domenick Rizzo, a manager from the Rutgers University Department of Transportation.
Student Accounting also confirmed that the percentage of accepted students increased by a significant amount over the past several years of which nearly every student has class on at least two campuses.
“The buses are definitely more crowded this year. Kids are getting left behind on more than one bus in a row, and that itself should tell you how screwed up the system is,” said sophomore Danny Taylor.
“There aren’t enough buses during class hours. There’s a swarm of people waiting at the academic stops and the number of buses that come through aren’t consistent,” said senior Tatiana Zamis. “They need to increase them overall or I’m never going to make it to class on time.”
Some students think the issue isn’t with transportation, but with the way students behave in public areas.
“I’ve been on the subways of New York, and they’re perfectly fine about getting on. [But] here, for some reason people just don’t move,” said first-year student Laura Marchoff. “It’s a universal thing and students don’t know that. When it’s crowded and people are trying to get off, you have to move. It’s just respectful.”
The number of students per bus and the time they enter are constantly monitored by the bus driver, and so far, the department has seen no trend to justify increasing the number of buses they provide despite the increasing number of students per year.
Sophomore Etphane Barthelus said she’s losing motivation to attend class due to the crowds and long waits at the bus stops.
“I have to leave an hour before my class starts if it’s on a different campus just to get there on time, and sometimes I’m still late. What’s the point of having such a big school if we can’t comfortably get around?”
One of the most common solutions the university advocates is the convenient tracking feature in the Rutgers University mobile application.
The app, entitled “Rutgers”, is a way for users to navigate different aspects of the university such as food, classwork, events, and in this case, transportation.
“I mean it’s useful when it works, but it’s not too reliable,” one student said. “Sometimes I run out there when it says two minutes to go and end up waiting for like half an hour.”
It seems the general attitude at RU with the inter-campus transport system is that while it looks good on paper, it just is not living up to the standards in practice.
“I’m just so frustrated with the whole thing,” sophomore Claudia Martinez said. “All we want is to get to class on time without too much hassle, is that too much to ask?”