More students are using Yale Transit following changes to the minibus service meant to make transportation more accessible on campus, University officials said.
The changes, announced by Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration Janet Lindner in an e-mail to the Yale community last week, include the addition of several new buses to the transit services and the creation of new routes meant to expand nighttime transportation to students who live off-campus.
Don Relihan, the director of Yale Transit, said that while the number of new students utilizing the new services is not yet available, early indications show that the services are being well-used.
“The numbers are definitely up,” he said. “The amount of time that students have to wait for the bus and the time they spend on the bus waiting to go to their destination have also gone down.”
Yale College Council Security Committee President Larry Wise ’08 said he sensed a positive reaction to the changes from the student body. Although no formal poll has been taken, he said students have complimented the new services and provided positive feedback to YCC members.
Wise said the newly introduced “Blue Line” service has generated the most praise. The Blue Line is a route that takes students from residential colleges to off-campus neighborhoods such as Edgewood, Park, Howe and Dwight streets between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.
“On the weekdays, the number of riders has been increasing each day,” he said. “On the weekends, the numbers went way up because students are using it to get to off-campus locations that they don’t have time to visit during the weekdays.”
Lauren Dunn ’08, who said she frequently utilizes the transit system when attending classes located on Science Hill, said buses are easier to catch now than they were before the schedule changes were implemented.
Dunn said that she thinks the University needs to provide students with easy-to-use transportation methods because of the layout of Yale’s campus.
“The nucleus of our campus is in the downtown area, but there are classes and activities outside of central campus,” she said. “I think that because of this, Yale has an obligation to make transit services available and easy to use.”
Off-campus residents also said the new services provide added convenience.
“I’m extremely glad that it is there, and I’m even more glad that they’ve expanded it,” Steve Armstrong ’06 said.
Armstrong, who lives across from the Courtyard New Haven Hotel, said he is relieved to have an alternative to long walks home from classes.
Christian Griffin ’09 said that prior to the changes in the transit services, he heard numerous complaints from friends who lived off-campus about the long wait times they faced when using the minibus. Griffin said he found it troubling that his friends would wait for up to 25 minutes for the minibus to arrive.
“I think the purpose of having a minibus is to increase safety, and safety is not increased by waiting 25 minutes on a street corner,” he said.
But in the days since the changes came into a effect and a fourth minibus was added to service, Griffin said he has not heard as many complaints from his friends. The system, he said, has improved.
Wise said he is pleased that students are reacting positively to the additions and that more improvements will be announced in the near future.
Relihan said Yale is investigating the possibility of outfitting buses that run on the Blue Line with Global Positioning System devices so that students can track the location of a bus using the Internet. He said he hopes to begin outfitting buses with GPS devices before the end of the current academic year.