My name is Saidat Adeleke and as a student of Towson University I use the off-campus shuttle services. Most of the time, I commute to school on the Goucher shuttle bus and quite honestly, the quality of the service is deplorable. The scheduling system, among other things, are in complete disarray.
The combination of the Goucher and Loch Raven routes initiated this disaster. A few months back, Parking and Transportation Services sent a notice stating that the Goucher and Loch Raven shuttles would be combined, and it led to massive confusion among students and bus drivers.
At the time, the buses came through University Avenue, dropped off students at the Towsontown garage and proceeded to the Union garage before coming back to the CLA. The route was beyond ridiculous. The students were confused about the bus stop, we didn’t know if we were to board at the Towsontown garage, Union garage or in front of the CLA. Some of them risked getting hit by cars when they crossed in front of traffic to board the bus at the Towsontown garage.
To compound the problem, the TU Tiger Ride mobile app gave inaccurate bus arrival times and sometimes did not even give any predictions. The buses arrived incredibly late and many times there were too many students on the bus because the bus is now carrying people beyond its intended capacity. Many students could not board the bus because it could not fit everyone, so they had to step off and wait for the next bus.
On Wednesday March 7, 2017, I was on the Goucher route and in the middle of being packed in with my fellow students like sardines. I sent an email to the Parking and Transportation Services and the SGA highlighting these issues. Dorothy Hersey of the Parking and Transportation Services immediately got back to me on March 8. She apologized for the inconvenience and said the situation was temporary.
On Monday March 13th, things were supposed to go back to normal. The TU Tiger Ride app suffered a software glitch and it has been resolved. Also, they promised to stop discharging at the Towsontown garage for safety reasons.
Sadly, I am writing today because the situation has not gotten better. The Goucher/Loch Raven route combination continues, and I’m not the only one displeased about it. Students continue to be late for classes because the buses continue to be late. I heard a student telling her mom on the phone that she was an hour late to class. I know the Gold Route, the Kenilworth and the Rodgers Forge routes are also impaired by inconsistency and terrible services.
I don’t know who thought combining the routes was a good idea, but I’m here to tell the Parking and Transportation Services that it is a terrible idea. Finals are coming and our attendance in class matters more than ever. While many students are seriously inconvenienced due to the erratic service offered on this route, few will take the time to express how they feel. If you question my claims, I suggest you attempt to ride on this route for an entire week. Then you may see how frustrating it is to be late for class because of faulted route changes.
I hope that the Parking and Transportation Services will take my complaint seriously. I hope they immediately revert to the previous bus routes. Also, please fix the TU Tiger Ride app. As we are aspiring to be a bigger and better university, the quality of service delivered to students should be better, not worse.