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Shuttle shuffle

It’s all happening on 42nd Street, but there’s certainly no singing or dancing.

Construction work has rendered 42nd Street a no-through road causing major disruption to off-campus shuttle services and local traffic. With the off-campus shuttles getting caught up in the inevitable traffic congestion, some students have reported journey times of one hour to reach or return from campus. The construction work on 42nd Street is expected to continue until the week commencing July 22.

To mitigate the effects of the construction work shuttle services B and C have been temporarily rerouted to run campus-only routes. Due to the need for U-turns on 42nd Street, smaller sized shuttles are providing as much of the off-campus service as possible.

Students’ perceptions of the disruption varied. Lisa Pritv said the temporary service had significantly increased the time it takes her to reach campus.

“It’s horrible. My journey took a whole hour yesterday,” Pritv said.

Other students’ experiences were more favorable. Toni Hingten said that while the time spent waiting for the shuttle had, on average, increased to between 10 and 15 minutes, her journey times were only slightly longer than normal. Fellow student Mike Reilly said he appreciated the reasons behind the disruption.

“Most people realize there’s nothing they can do about it; it’s construction,” Reilly said. “But it’s a pain in the butt if you don’t know about it and you’re late for a class.”

Rick Fallin, transportation coordinator for Bull Runner Campus Shuttle Service, said he found it difficult to believe that student journeys were taking as much as one hour.

“It sounds like misperception,” Fallin said. “We’re doing a horseshoe of the off-campus service. The B and C routes can’t circulate because of the closure.”

The off-campus shuttle service is scheduled to run every 15 minutes from Parking Lot 43, where students can transfer to campus shuttle routes. With the additional length of the route, the likelihood of traffic disruption and the transfer to a campus shuttle, Fallin did concede that some disruption was inevitable.

“Without question it would take considerably longer. It’s going to be a longer journey,” Fallin said.

The routing of the temporary shuttle service has also been the cause of some consternation. Students picked up at Ashford Green on 42nd Street are returning to Fletcher via Skipper Road and 46th Street, receiving a tantalizing view of campus but being driven back up 42nd Street to another pickup point close to the Greenery Pub, some 70 yards south of their departure point. The shuttle then U-turns back towards Fletcher and, finally, onward to campus.

Fallin said the temporary measures would remain in effect until 42nd Street was completely reopened. According to the schedule published by Hillsborough County Council, that will not be until the week commencing July 22.