How can Metro Transit more efficiently cater to the individuals who rely on its services? It’s whether or not buses will arrive on time that has become the focal point of discussion amongst students commuting to and from campus.
Some delay is to be expected when inclement weather or rush hour traffic stands between drivers and their target destinations. But perhaps a minute here or there could be spared if Metro Transit altered their schedules in a way that would work in accordance with student scheduling.
Assuming most classes at Western Michigan University begin on the hour, students are either left with too little or even too much time before lectures begin.
“In order to get to class on time I needed to catch the Lovell bus (route #16) 40 minutes before class began. If for whatever reasons I missed the Lovell bus I only had ten minutes to make it to class by the time the second bus arrived,” said Anne Hirsch, a 23-year-old alumna. “It’s a game of cat and mouse. The entire process is made worse when poor weather is thrown into the mix.”
“I try to minimize the problem (while being safe) by being as timely as humanly possible. Conflicting schedules are something we all have to deal with,” said a Metro Transit driver who wishes to remain anonymous. “We do all we can to assure students get to class on time.”
Those who battle this inconvenience day in and day out may need to call attention to possible solutions to this community/campus issue.
Instead of buses making routine stops every 30 to 35 minutes, imagine a world in which transit buses came in twenty minutes intervals to the busiest stops in Kalamazoo. Students would no longer have to choose between getting to class far too early, or worming their way into their lecture halls five or 10 minutes late.
However, would running buses in 20 minute intervals be economically feasible for Metro Transit? Do they posses the manpower and vehicles needed to uphold such a rigorous task? Lastly would this extensive undertaking be valuable to not only the students but to those in the community who rely on public transportation to come and go from work?
Kalamazoo Metro Transit is a valuable commodity and community asset. However the system is not perfect and room for improvement is needed to maximize transportation resources funded by tax payers and tuition dollars.