As students tried to use the Yale shuttle system to escape the Tuesday downpour, many noticed that some of the bus lines were no longer displayed on the shuttle system’s app, precipitating havoc as students begrudgingly walked to class in the rain.
Over the summer, Yale implemented major changes to its shuttle system, including the development of a new app, the purchase of new busses and the introduction of a new shuttle route. However, the new app does not display all the existing bus routes, prompting confusion as students have to flip between the two apps to monitor the status of the busses.
The overhaul of the system came in response to concerns — voiced mainly by graduate students — about the lack of reliable transportation options bridging the corners of campus. Over the past year, the Office of Parking and Transit has worked with student groups in identifying ways to improve overall ridership experience, said Associate Vice President for Administration and Chief Procurement Officer John Mayes.
“[Yale’s] shuttle bus system provides over one million rides per year, and we have a very strong commitment to providing sustainable transportation options for the campus,” Mayes said. “We work hard to incorporate input from our very large community of riders, including students, staff and faculty, into our decision-making on system improvements.”
Last spring, Yale Parking and Transit launched a new route, the Yellow Line, designed to connect central campus with the new colleges and the East Rock neighborhood where many graduate students live.
Douglas Hausladen, director of New Haven’s Office of Transportation, Traffic and Parking told the News that the University did not consult with the city before deploying the new line. He emphasized the need to “transform our CT transit systems so that Yale does not continue to promulgate their private transit system.”
Over the summer, other lines were tweaked as well. The orange line now operates continuously during the week, with service starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 11 p.m., as opposed to halting service in the afternoon. The newly introduced nighttime version of the yellow line, which operates from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., travels to Union Station, to the medical school and across York Street.
Fabian Schrey GRD ’19, who presides over the Graduate Student Assembly’s Transport and Security Committee, said that his committee collaborated with the Office of Parking and Transit to identify and implement the changes.
“We are happy to see that our suggestions [were] taken seriously,” Schrey said. “Graduate students now have more ways to return home from their lab or the library after work.”
But besides adding new shuttle lines, the Office of Parking and Transit has also launched two new apps: TapRide, an app that allows students to request Safe-Ride vans around the Elm City, and DoubleMap, a real-time shuttle tracking system.
The DoubleMap app has been touted as more user-friendly than its predecessor, widely used by undergraduates getting to and from class. But the new app does not display all the bus routes. According to Director of Support Services Donald Relihan, all shuttle routes will be displayed on the new app by mid-October.
“It’s inconvenient to have to use one app for the blue and orange lines and the other one for the red line,” said Naeha Pathak ’21, who rides the shuttle to Science Hill every day. “I also don’t really like how the new app gives a time range of the shuttle’s arrival instead of a concrete time like the previous app did. I’ve found the estimated times of arrival to often be inaccurate.”
But most students expressed excitement about the purchase of new shuttles.
Julia Chertkof ’21 mentioned that because the new busses have more rows of seats than do the old ones, fewer students have to remain standing as the shuttles reach full capacity.
Schrey said that he is optimistic about the new changes but hopes to see improved transportation within West Campus and more use of New Haven’s existing transit system.
The Yale shuttle system was established in the mid-1970s.
Lorenzo Arvanitis | firstname.lastname@example.org .