Binghamton’s Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) system has changed the bus routes in an attempt to ease students’ commutes to campus.
In the past, all buses drove in a loop where each vehicle would follow a specific route, return to campus and restart. Now, the Downtown Center (DCR) and Westside (WS) buses have both inbound and outbound buses that follow mirrored routes.
According to Tim Redband, public relations coordinator for OCCT and a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, the University hired Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates to help find places for improvements in both transportation and parking services around campus to increase efficiency.
The new bus routes are a direct result of their suggestions, and Redband said that the goal of the changes was to give passengers more options when taking the bus.
“The new system cuts out the time buses are on Vestal Parkway not picking up passengers,” Redband wrote in an email. “As a result passengers will have more options when taking buses home or to campus. It also makes it easier for people to travel up and down Main St. since the buses now go both directions on Main St. all day.”
Redband said that major construction on Riverside Drive is causing delays in bus service, requiring implementing extra detours.
“Unfortunately, we have experienced numerous problems with the roll out of the new system,” Redband wrote. “The construction makes it challenging to keep our buses on schedule due to detours and extra traffic.”
Some students said that they understood occasional issues while OCCT implements their new system.
“There was a problem the other day for the Westside line,” said Mary-Louise Hildebrandt, a senior majoring in psychology who lives on Binghamton’s Westside. “The driver was late. Other than that they’ve been just as good as last year, which to me isn’t bad.”
Julie Kline, a sophomore double-majoring in English and human development, said that the delays of the new routes were interfering with her ability to get to class.
“I have a few classes at the UDC, and it’s become almost impossible to plan a way to get there on time,” Kline said. “Once it ran smoothly, but all other times I have to wait a decent amount of time before a bus comes.”
Kline said that it seemed that the delays affect and frustrate many students and make their commute more stressful, not less.
“You can just see that everyone is frustrated,” Kline said. “The crowds outside the Union of people heading home at the end of the day is filled with disgruntled students and the buses are packed.”