• Zak Wood

    Ben Robinson, foreground, and Hannah Terlep ride the Buff Bus after being picked up at Folsom Street and Colorado Avenue on Wednesday.

  • Zak Wood

    Peter Caldwell, left, waits in line as Joe Totten, right, boards the Buff Bus at Folsom Street and Colorado Avenue on Wednesday.

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BOULDER, Colo. –

A recent route change for the University of Colorado’s Buff Bus has created turbulence for some of the 2,300 students living in Williams Village and the Bear Creek apartments who ride the shuttle to campus.

Despite CU’s efforts to offer advance notice of the detour â including e-mail alerts and onboard signs â Tuesday’s route change has exacerbated students’ complaints that the bus line is overcrowded at peak times.

Last year, Buff Busses ferried more than 1.2 million riders â up 45 percent from 2004 â from the Williams Village dorms and Bear Creek apartments at 30th Street and Baseline Road to the main campus.

“At high-volume class times, the buses will get packed,” Williams Village resident Matt Bell said Wednesday. “Sometimes it takes half-an-hour to get to or from a class.

“You can definitely be late sometimes because of the Buff Bus.”

The latest wrinkle came Tuesday when construction of the Boulder campus’ $63.5 million visual-arts complex required officials to alter the bus’ route; the shuttle now skips regular stops on Euclid and Colorado avenues in favor of a counterclockwise detour around campus, via Regent Drive.

“Some people seem to be pretty confused and wondering if the bus is going to be stopping where they need,” said Williams Village resident Kareem Nammari, a freshman engineering student. “But it hasn’t inconvenienced me much, because it’s now stopping at the engineering building first.”

Bryan Flansburg, CU’s director of transportation services, said a lot of overcrowding and scheduling issues could be avoided if students simply planned ahead.

“It takes approximately 12 minutes from Will Vill to the first stop on campus â so if students are coming out 15 minutes before they need to get to class, they probably aren’t going to make it,” Flansburg said. “If students managed their time a bit better and got out a little earlier, these problems would solve themselves.”

Currently, CU’s fleet consists of 17 buses â six of which are dedicated solely to serving the Williams Village/Bear Creek area at peak-time intervals of one bus every four minutes, Flansburg said.

The program also has purchased two additional articulated â double-length â buses, which tentatively will be added to the fleet in mid-April.

More than $1 million of the campus’ $1.47 million transit budget is spent on transporting students from the Williams Village area to the main campus.

CU officials already have acknowledged they’ll need to provide more transportation to and from Williams Village once a new five-story dormitory is built there; that is expected to be completed by August 2011.

As for student complaints about current delays, Flansburg noted that he is listening.

Thanks to rider input, the Buff Buses this semester began alternating their first stops between Bear Creek and Williams Village.

Previously, the busses always stopped at Bear Creek first, which, during peak times, sometimes meant the bus already was full by the time it reached neighboring Williams Village.

“That gave everyone an equal opportunity,” Flansburg said. “We try to listen to students whenever they have concerns.”

The overall consensus â both from Flansburg and Williams Village residents queried Wednesday â seems to be that the Buff Bus system is convenient and reliable.

“I ride it just about every day, and they seem to be pretty decent with the timing,” said freshman Ann-Marie Liane. “As far as student buses go, it seems to work pretty well.”

Archived comments

Fortunately the route change is temporary, due to the construction in the road by the visual arts complex. It has resulted in some confusion and some frustration for students and Buff Bus drivers alike, however, it will be changing back to the normal schedule after Spring Break. I’m sure it has inconvenienced some and also “convenienced” some others who might prefer some of the stops along the temporary reroute and who will miss them once the routes revert back to normal. It does help, however, to plan ahead and try to catch an earlier bus if you find yourself arriving late to classes.

Danimal

3/18/2009 11:50:12 PM

CU provides some great transportation options. The Buff Bus and CU NightRide are both great problems. Give ’em a break — the university is not responsible for how you get around, and in most places in the world, the school doesn’t care whether or not you’re getting bused into school from home. The excellent transportation here should be more appreciated.

bldr_brunette

3/19/2009 1:58:05 PM

Bryan Flansburg, CU’s director of transportation services, :

“If students managed their time a bit better and got out a little earlier, these problems would solve themselves.”

******

Thank heavens someone has the backbone to say it straight to these coddled whiners. I fear to think how these kids are going to handle the World of Work. Oh wait…I already know.

“Boss? My work isn’t meaningful.”

“Oh yeah? Get back to it anyway. And you were fifteen minutes late today – that goes on your record.”

“Hello Dad? Yeah, like, can I, like, move back in with you and Mom ‘n’ stuff?”

donwrege

3/19/2009 2:40:00 PM

The busses SHOULD be packed, to the capacity as much as possible.

Go to 29th Street and count how many buses go through there in 20 minutes, it’s ridiculous.

Bus after bus with 5 people on it spewing diesel fumes into the corridor, poisoning all the peds trying to breath.

GabeMc

3/19/2009 6:57:11 PM