By Camryn Ford
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
While scanning the list of bus stops and trying to determine which bus goes where, many students miss their bus on the first day of class.
The buses’s purpose is to transport students to their classes in a timely manner and to help them avoid exhausting hikes around campus. However, there are still many students who get frustrated when they miss a bus or get on the wrong one.
“Know that routes may be crowded while students are still getting adjusted to schedules during the first weeks of class so plan accordingly and take earlier bus route, “ said June Broughton, marketing manager for transportation services.
Bus routes change often as a result of ongoing campus construction. There are a few ways students can keep up with route fluctuations.
Students on the run can now view bus routes and arrival times using TAMUMobile, a free application for smart phones.
“They should be encouraged to check the website often,” said Lana Wolken, assistant director of transportation services. “Due to construction on routes, many things are changing with reroutes. We give advance notice as soon as we know and often times that may delay buses slightly.”
Transportation services also offers a “how to ride” guide” on their website. It is an easily accessible resource for freshmen to learn how the bus system works.
Students are often unaware that the buses also run off-campus. These buses travel to Best Buy, Post Oak Mall, Wal-Mart, H-E-B, Kroger, Target, the local farmer’s market, area churches, banks and Blinn College.
Students without vehicles can still get to class and do their shopping thanks to the transportation services provided by the University.
“For those who many not have a vehicle, we offer several alternatives, including car share, which Is when students may rent a car by the hour or day starting at $8 per hour that includes gas and insurance,” Broughton said. “We offer a free-ride share service through Zimride, bike rental through MaroonBikes and ‘borrow-a-bike’ is to be launched this fall.
There are also transportation options available for students who have vehicles.
“Permit registration is conducted annually online at transport.tamu.edu,” Broughton said. “At this time, students may still purchase a permit to park in West Campus Garage, if a resident hall student, or lot 100 for commuter students,” Broughton said. “Waitlists for other lots are available and managed throughout the year.”
There are also night parking options and separate parking lots available for motorcycles.
Transit operator Arturo Marrer-Choe said students should remember to be friendly to bus drivers because they are a resource that can be utilized to alleviate any confusion or frustration.
“A bus driver is your best friend, so be friendly because he or she might wait for you,” Marrer-Choe said.