Drunk bus’ route skips College St.

 

The “drunk bus” has a new route.

The Department of Transportation and Parking Services announced changes to the off-campus late night shuttle route at the beginning of this semester.

Instead of stopping at multiple downtown places such as Rite Aid and Kinko’s, the bus will only stop in front of Handy’s Mini Mart, across from City Market. 

The route was also modified to go up Main Street instead of College Street.  

Transportation Director Mike Altman cited safety concerns as the main reason for the late-night shuttle changes.

“There were always issues with the stop at Main Street and South Winooski,” Altman said. “The bus hangs out in the middle of street and it’s a really busy intersection.”

Altman said that the stop in front of Rite Aid pharmacy was concerning because of the lack of curb, while the stop at Handy’s is much safer.

“People can wait inside the gas station, it’s more convenient,” Altman said.  “Plus, there is no longer a need to supply security at two stops. Now we have just one well-lit area.”

He also said that given the state of passengers on the bus, its safer to go up Main Street.

“On Main Street, drivers can zip right up, and it’s a little quicker to Main Campus,” Altman said.  

Though Altman said that reducing the number of stops and changing the shuttle’s route would be more convenient, students said they were not so sure.

“I used to take the shuttle last term before the changes were made,” junior Dave O’Sullivan-Frost said. “With the reduced number of stops, the shuttle gets backed up, and I think it takes longer to board.”

The off-campus route on weeknights was also modified so that the bus goes up College Street instead of Maple Street, because it would be more accessible to the students who live near College Street.

But some students still aren’t convinced.

“I’m not a fan of the new route,” sophomore Eden Pirog said.  “It doesn’t stop by my house anymore, because I live on Maple Street.” 

Sophomore Christina Litavec said she could see why the changes were made.

“It doesn’t affect me because I don’t ride the drunk bus, but I understand Main Street is safer for vehicles of that size,” she said.

“If the route was changed for a legitimate reason, like safety, then I’m cool with it,” she said.

Other students that aren’t regular patrons of the bus said they would start taking the shuttle because of its changed route.

“Main Street is easier than Maple,” sophomore Kristen Thompson said.  “I think it’s a good route.”