News

HurryCane shuttles often inconvenient

Students wait about 20 minutes for the HurryCane Shuttle to arrive at one of the UV stops.  By the time the shuttle gets there it's usually full beyond capacity, forcing students to stand on the steps of the bus entrance if they need the ride.  Many students have given up using this mode of transportation from the UV and have taken to riding bikes or parking illegally on campus to avoid being late for class. Steven Stuts // The Miami Hurricane

Students wait about 20 minutes for the HurryCane Shuttle to arrive at one of the UV stops. By the time the shuttle gets there it's usually full beyond capacity, forcing students to stand on the steps of the bus entrance if they need the ride. Many students have given up using this mode of transportation from the UV and have taken to riding bikes or parking illegally on campus to avoid being late for class. Steven Stuts // The Miami Hurricane

Residents of the University Village at the southern end of campus are complaining this semester that inconsistent schedules and overcrowding on the HurryCane shuttles are causing them to be late for class and forcing some to walk in the sticky South Florida heat.

Danny Manimbo said sometimes he has to give up waiting for the shuttle and just walk instead.

“You’re covered in sweat by the time you get there,” he said.

Richard Sobaram, UM’s director of parking and transportation, said he is aware of the complaints and is trying to address the problems.

“We’re finding that students are cramming to get on buses to the Fountain when the Stanford ones are running with empty spaces,” Sobaram said.

According to Sobaram, nine shuttles run routes from the UV to Stanford Circle or to the Fountain behind the Ashe Building. The UV Express bus also runs only between the UV and the Fountain.

The Department of Parking and Transportation is encouraging students to help make the system more efficient by taking the first-available shuttle to either the Fountain or Stanford, both of which are near the center of campus.

Some UV riders said the shuttles are not spaced out enough.

“Instead of equal distances between them, four come by at once and then you have to wait 15 minutes,” UV resident Matt Bosher said.

Ideally, the shuttles are scheduled to arrive at stops every seven minutes, Sobaram said. He said that shuttle schedules can’t be tailored just around regular class times because some riders need to use the buses to get to work or the Metrorail station. Street traffic around the campus also affects the schedules, especially on busy Ponce de Leon Boulevard.  If one shuttle is caught in rush hour traffic or has to wait for a light, others behind it catch up, causing shuttles to arrive at the UV in close proximity.

According to students, another issue is overcrowded buses. Some shuttles are already jammed when they arrive at UV and can’t take on many new passengers. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are often the worst times for overcrowding but even on Fridays there can be a shuttle crowding problem.

Chuck McConnell, director of contracts for American Coach, which owns the shuttles, said the company tells drivers “any time they come to a stop and there are more passengers than they can carry, to radio the bus behind them.” That way the next shuttle driver will be aware of the situation and can get to the stop as fast as possible.

The biodiesel shuttles can only fit 29 sitting passengers and another fifteen standing ones. The smaller shuttles sit twenty two riders.

Adding to the shuttle crowd at the UV are students who live in apartment complexes across from campus such as the Cloisters and Red Road Commons. They are allowed to use the shuttle system like any other student.

“Red Road Commons has put another kink in the system,” Sobaram said. “We’ve seen an uptake in the amount of people taking shuttles.”

McConnell said that because of the additional riders walking over from the Red Road Commons, they have needed to extend the hours of the UV Express to compensate extra riders. Sobaram says the solution isn’t as simple as adding more shuttles because it costs the university $130,000 a year for each one.

In the spring semester, Sobaram said riders will be asked to fill out surveys while they are on the shuttles and the new system will be implemented in fall 2010 at the latest.

“I’m thinking of making radical changes to the shuttle system to make it more efficient,” Sobaram said.

The plan would include four or five shuttles running constantly between Ponce Garage and Stanford Circle and another four or five running between Ponce and the Fountain. The shuttles should then arrive at stops every four to five minutes, he said, as opposed to the current schedule where they should ideally arrive every seven minutes.

“It would be more efficient, faster and would service 90 percent of riders, according to [shuttle usage]patterns,” Sobaram said.

October 25, 2009

Reporters

Claudia Curiel

Contributing News Writer


6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “HurryCane shuttles often inconvenient”

  1. Nathan Skinner says:

    Student1, you realize that a lot of the “Nonstudents” on the shuttles are people that work for the University. Be it your favorite person in the dining hall, or someone cleaning the trash you left behind because you couldn’t be troubled to throw your garbage in the can, those people deserve to ride the Hurry Cane, just like we do. So you had to stand, so the heck what..I know you probably think that the help should walk, but they don’t, and shouldn’t. Your tuition payment doesn’t entitle you to get everything your way. It entitles you to get a world class education, nothing more, or less.

  2. Student1 says:

    Aside from correcting the intervals at which the buses arrive at each bus stop, the school should require student IDs’ to get on the buses. That is the way they do it at most other schools. Students here at UM pay increasing tuition every year, and the ones who reap the benefits of the services our tuition pays for, are the ones who don’t even go to this school.

    The other day I was on the Stanford shuttle, and I was forced to stand, along with about 10 other students, while more than half the seats were taken by individuals who where obviously not students.

    I say make student ID’s a requirement, and get a bus to each stop every 7 minutes, or cancel the shuttle program and stop charging us for it. Why should we pay for something that is completely useless?

  3. Rasheed Ali says:

    Eye’s donts thinks theres bees a problems wit da transportations arounds campus

  4. Nathan Skinner says:

    Is it just me, or are most of my fellow ‘Canes chronic whiners? I have lived a couple of blocks off campus for the last 3 years, and I have walked to class, and pretty much everything else the entire time. Walking won’t kill most of us, and if you carry a towel in your backpack, the humidity won’t do that much damage to your clothing.. Could the shuttles run more frequently? Yes, but stop depending on the administration, who are stretched pretty far as is, to solve a minor problem. Until the problem is fixed, just walk, or put down the money for a commuter pass, most of us can afford to park on a perimeter lot, and walk anyway..

  5. T-good says:

    The shuttle system is a joke. There are “express” shuttles that run from the fountain directly to Ponce and are constantly empty. Perhaps they should re-evaluate how the buses in service are being used and I would love to see Donna Shalala try walking from the UV to the middle of campus, it clearly wouldn’t hurt her.

  6. T says:

    What is the big problem? I walked from the UV to class every single day last year. Yes, it is a bit inconvenient, but it is at most a 15 minute walk.. Suck it up.

    You knew what you were getting into when you enrolled at UM, so please do not complain that is is to hot to walk outside.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.