Rowan University shuttle’s route changes, facelift lead to improvement in services

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Rowan University shuttle services changed its route beginning this semester, and so far there’s been an increase in the number of students taking the shuttle, according to shuttle coordinator John Aderinto.

In January last year, the shuttle picked up 418 students throughout the Glassboro campus. During the month this year, the shuttle picked up 833, according to records, 358 of these students at the Rowan Boulevard stop. Shuttle services runs two shuttles, both of which are marked by decals including the Rowan mascot and usual university font choices. The makeover was completed this year to help identify the shuttles as the university bus services, instead of as ambiguous white vans.

Previous shuttles were entirely white, with text that read “Rowan shuttle” on just one side.

The $8,000 decals were funded through the Student Government Association’s (SGA) marketing budget. They were deemed necessary after students at public shuttle forums requested further visibility.

Both Aderinto and the SGA were working on increased visibility and route improvements throughout last semester. They concluded that a better look for the shuttle and a route change may increase the number of people who take the shuttle.

Prior to spring 2017, the shuttle made 16 stops throughout the Glassboro campus. Through student surveys and feedback from shuttle drivers, shuttle services worked with its partner, South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA), on revising the schedule to just eight stops.

The new schedule begins at Rowan Boulevard Apartments, makes its way to the Student Center, Memorial Circle, Lot A, James/Robinson Hall, EPA/Chestnut Hall, Ellis Street Parking Lot and ideally ends at 301 High St., but this stop is presently closed due to construction.

The shuttle only circulates in that order and does not run a reverse route.

“One complaint that I’ve heard is that we aren’t going to Triad. Lot A was supposed to substitute for that, but that’s something we’re going to have to keep looking at,” Aderinto said.

On Friday, a Whit reporter rode both shuttles throughout the entire eight-stop route during the morning and midday. The bus was only delayed on two instances, but shortly thereafter caught up with itself.

If the shuttle driver arrived early at a stop, the driver would wait for time to catch up with the schedule. Scheduled bus-stop times were completed prior to the start of the semester through test runs.

Bus 1

Location ETA Actual Time Delayed At Stop Time Left
Memorial Cir. 10:35 10:35 No N/A
Lot A 10:37 10:36 No N/A
James/Rob. 10:44 10:42 Yes 10:44
EPA/Chestnut 10:46 10:46 No N/A
Ellis St. 10:53 10:51 No N/A
301 High St. 10:55 N/A N/A N/A
Robo 11:00 10:54 Yes 11:00
S.C. 11:03 11:01 Yes 11:03

 

Bus 2

Location ETA Actual Time Delayed At Stop Time Left
Memorial Cir. 11:50 11:52 No N/A
Lot A 11:52 11:53 No N/A
James/Rob. 11:59 11:57 Yes 11:59
EPA/Chestnut 12:01 12:00 No N/A
Ellis St. 12:08 12:05 Yes 12:07
301 High St. 12:10 N/A N/A N/A
Robo 12:15 12:11 Yes 12:14
S.C. 12:18 12:16 Yes 12:18

 

Aderinto said shuttle drivers are expected to adhere to the schedule as closely as possible. Aderinto and other shuttle coordinators monitor the shuttle’s app for driver location and times that the bus arrives at each new stop.

Throughout the reporter’s time on the bus Friday, only one person rode the shuttle during their time on bus one, and only one person rode the shuttle during the reporter’s time on bus two.

One student said that although the shuttle may be more visible in its appearance, she’s not more apt to taking it.

“I don’t know its schedule and I can walk everywhere I need to go,” said sophomore history and modern languages & linguistics dual major Olivia Grasso.

The university is in year two of a three-year contract with SJTA for shuttle services around the Glassboro campus.

“We’re a growing campus, so I definitely think we need a shuttle. It’s just trial and error to make it more effective for everyone,” Aderinto said.

Additional reporting by Matt Kass.

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