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Campus bus routes to undergo changes for fall 2007

August 20, 2007 By

Route 80 campus bus riders, particularly those who live in Eagle Heights or catch the bus at Union South, will encounter some changes when regular service begins on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The length of the current route will be shortened in two ways.

The Union South bus stop will be eliminated. On their return trips to Memorial Union, Route 80 buses will travel south on Charter Street from Linden Drive to West Johnson Street. A new stop will be located at the northwest corner of Charter and West Johnson, especially to serve riders going to Union South. The stop on the south side of West Johnson at North Mills will remain in service.

Rob Kennedy, a manager at Transportation Services, says the changes were made for several reasons. It will make the trip from the west end of campus to Memorial Union faster. It was also included in the 2005 Campus Master Plan and is related to upcoming major construction projects.

“Randall Avenue and part of University Avenue will soon become more congested when narrowed by one or more lanes as work begins on the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and Johnson Street in front of Union South will be lost when that building and Randall Towers are torn down and rebuilt farther north,” says Kennedy.

When university classes are in session, the number of trips going into Eagle Heights will be reduced to 15-minute intervals between approximately 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The remaining trips that will not go into Eagle Heights between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. will be made between Memorial Union and UW Hospital only. On their westbound route, those buses will turn right at Observatory Drive and Walnut Street, serve the stops on the south side of lots 60 and 76, and then proceed to the hospital on their return trip to Memorial Union.

“Ridership to and from Eagle Heights on the 80 has a rush hour in the morning and afternoon, but during the middle of the day, it drops off significantly,” says Kennedy.

“Ridership on the main campus has the opposite pattern. It increases dramatically in the middle of the day when most classes are held. In the face of the rapidly increasing costs of campus buses, it made sense to switch two of the buses operating in the middle of the day to a shorter route that just serves the main campus.”

Kennedy says the shortened route for some buses, along with the elimination of the Union South stop and the addition of the extra winter bus for the entire academic year (not including summer sessions), will significantly improve frequency.

“With buses coming every five minutes, service will be more convenient and the overcrowding experienced in the past should be reduced,” says Kennedy.

Riders, including Eagle Heights residents, should note that during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods (before 10 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m. until around 6 p.m.), all buses will run at intervals of 7-8 minutes along the full length of the route.

On recess service days, such as Thanksgiving and during winter and spring breaks and the summer months, trips to Eagle Heights will operate every 15 minutes during the day. Fifteen-minute frequencies will also be carried over into early evening hours when classes are in session (from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.), before dropping to a single bus operating at 40-minute intervals at night. Weekend service will also adopt a more standard 45-minute frequency.

Madison Metro provides a full schedule and route information regarding campus buses.

Tags: student life