UW Transportation proposes changes to campus bus routes 80, 81, 82, 84

UW Transportation is considering changes to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus bus routes, including Route 80, 81, 82 and 84, all of which are Metro Transit buses. The UW Transportation website said the changes “are intended to help reduce crowding, improve on-time performance and improve ADA access.”

Have you heard? @UWMadison campus bus routes (80 81, 82, and 84) will undergo service and route changes starting in the 2020-21 year. Informational forums on proposed changes start next week!

Note: no changes start before Sept. 1, 2020.

More information: https://t.co/UAtlgl5LzP pic.twitter.com/nt2QT7NhFl

— UW Transportation (@UWTransServices) September 13, 2019

UW Transportation held three public forums to discuss the proposed changes. Associated Students of Madison Student Transportation Board representative Nick Smith said many of the proposals were based on a survey given to about 3,000 students last semester.

“All of these changes are coming from student perspective(s) to solve the problems that we see,” Smith said. “It’s really time for something to change so that the expanded campus population can be better served.”

UW-Madison faculty and staff were not surveyed.

UW Transportation manager Darwin Ward said the initiative for changes began after UW Transportation determined more detailed demographics on when students were taking the campus buses and how many of them were taking it. For example, UW Transportation believed campus buses were most in use between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., but it is now believed campus buses are used primarily between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ward said students are the biggest population of those taking the Metro Transit buses.

The changes include modifying service availability during the middle of the day, adding additional weekend services and adjusting late night routes and where the route services span to. Late night routes include the 81 and 82 buses.

UW Transportation proposed adding two more buses to the already seven buses that that run throughout the middle of the day, and they proposed deducting two buses from the current four that travel to Eagle Heights. As the proposals stand now, the midday services to Eagle Heights would run through Route 84, instead of Route 80.

The proposals would improve spacing and schedule reliability and increase capacity in central campus, but would also increase the cost of buses and the impacts for Eagle Heights residents, as their new bus options would require longer waiting times in Eagle Heights and a transfer bus to get to the southeastern side of campus from Charter Street.

Part of those extra costs would come from UW-Madison students’ segregated fees, which are paid per semester.

Beyond the student survey, Ward said Metro Transit, University Housing and the ASM Student Transportation Board approved the proposals.

UW Transportation will be making changes to its proposals based on feedback between September. and December. of 2019. In the spring of 2020, Metro Transit will make necessary changes to its bus maps, which include routes 80-82 and 84. The changes will not be enforced until Sept. 1, 2020.

People can give feedback on the 2019 campus bus forum. One more public forum will be held Sept. 25, which is specifically for people living within the Eagle Heights Community.

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