By Marissa Bean
The leaves are changing, and so is the Bridgewater State University (BSU) transit system.
Beginning this fall, there is a new nighttime transit service. The new system replaces the former safety escort service, which was run by the BSU police. The nighttime transit service runs 7 P.M to 3 A.M. seven nights a week.
There are two ways to ride the bus at night: get on or off at one of the designated stops, or call for pick up and drop off at one of the on-call stops.
The designated stops are the crosswalk at the Summer Street entrance of the Rondileau Campus Center (RCC), Harrington Hall, East Campus Commons (ECC)/the Clock Tower, and the Tower Lot on Great Hill Drive. Buses arrive at each stop every 10 to 15 minutes.
Students looking to be picked up at the Tower Lot should stay in their cars with their hazard lights on to signal to the bus driver that they are waiting for pick-up.
The on-call stops are Shea/Durgin Hall, Moakley Center, Tinsley Center, the Swenson Lot, the Spring Street lot and the Maxwell Library entrance on Park Avenue, only during library hours. Request pick up at one of these stops by calling 508-531-1383.
Ms. Stefanie Eaton, Assistant Director of Facilities Management and Planning said that the Facilities Management and Planning department gathered student groups and conducted surveys to determine what changes could be made to the transit system.
In changing the nighttime service, one goal was to keep the convenience of the safety escort. “We were trying to find a way to be able to pick up and drop off students in safe locations that were relatively close to where they were going while trying to make it faster,” said Eaton.
Eaton added that the Tower Lot is a designated bus stop because of the high number of requests for pick up and drop off from students in the past few years.
This change came about after an outside consultant worked with the BSU Police Department to determine their main goals. One recommendation was to move the safety escort service to the Facilities Management and Planning department.
The safety escort began when the campus had fewer students. Eventually, there were between 80,000 and 100,000 riders using the service each year, according to Eaton, and it consumed too much of the police department’s time. All the calls for pick up “bogged down the dispatcher,” said Eaton.
Some students don’t have the information they need about the new service.
“It’s a really big improvement compared to last year, but there is a need to better inform the students of the changes,” said Danillo Cabral, a junior majoring in Economics. “Some students don’t know the new phone number, some students don’t know that there was a change at all, some students don’t know how the system works.”
Cabral suggested that an email be sent out with all the new information so that students have all the new service information.
There are at least two buses running every night; and there are typically three buses on the busiest nights, including Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, according to Eaton.
All buses are equipped with GPS, meaning that students can track the bus through the BSU app or the transit website. All buses are also handicap accessible.
“We tried to take those big concerns that students have and make sure that’s what we focused on first to make changes,” said Eaton.
Marissa Bean is a contributor to The Comment. Editor-in-Chief Kayla Lemay edited this story. Follow her on Twitter @klemay123 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.