It’s cold, and yet again I’m standing in front of the Student Living Center waiting for the bus. The free Route 72 bus that will take me back to my dorm at UR. Like many others, my lack of car forces me to ride the bus far more times than I can count. The fact that I am a double degree student means that I have to ride the bus almost every day.

I look at my watch. 1:35 ? this is when the bus should be leaving so that, with any luck, I can run to my recitation back at UR without being more than a few minutes late. Today, it looks like I’m out of luck.

We all know that there’s a bus that runs between UR and Eastman. After leaving one of the campuses, the bus stops at some combination of the George Eastman House, the Memorial Art Gallery, Manhattan Square Park and Towers, to name a few, before making its way to the other campus, usually arriving 20 minutes after its original departure.

However, far fewer people actually take the leap and ride the bus. One of the main reasons for this is the schedule.

Unlike most people would expect, the bus does not consistently leave Eastman at 35 minutes past the hour nor does it leave UR at 5 minutes past the hour ? both times designed to allow a 20- minute bus ride and then five minutes to get to class on the other campus.

For example, an Eastman student who has an Eastman class that ends at 1:25 p.m. and a UR class that begins at 2 p.m. has exactly 10 minutes after their class ends to catch the bus, which leaves at 1:35 from in front of the SLC. Assuming perfect traffic and a punctual bus driver, the student arrives in front of the ITS center at 1:55 p.m, with five minutes to get to their class.

Of course, the Route 72 bus schedule is sort of like the Ideal Gas Law in chemistry ? it only works under ideal conditions that almost never exist. Classes run over, traffic is bad and the ending result is invariably a migraine for the brave soul who climbed the steps of the bus.

The bus schedule also needs to become more consistent. The above departure times work surprisingly well during the day, but then, after 2 p.m., chaos ensues.

The bus leaves the SLC at some time between 31 minutes after the hour to 58 minutes after the hour, depending upon the hour. One particularly irritating time is 3:43 p.m.

The bus gets to UR at 4:03 p.m. Who has a meeting at 4:03 p.m.? Getting in three minutes after the hour means that you either have to be late to your 4 o’clock meeting or class, or you have to arrive an hour early ? both poor choices.

Why doesn’t the bus just keep the same times? By leaving Eastman at 35 minutes past the hour every hour, the need for carrying around a yellow bus schedule will be eliminated, and students will be guaranteed a bus that will get them to UR before the hour, when most classes there begin.

Likewise, if the buses left UR at 5 minutes past the hour, students would be guaranteed a bus arriving at half past the hour. The horrible sentence, “Let me check the bus schedule,” would be gone forever.

This would also allow students a wider variety of class choices. For example, many UR classes run from 2 – 3:15 p.m. The Route 72 bus leaves UR at 3:15 p.m., thus forcing Eastman students to waste 50 minutes while they wait for the next bus, which leaves at 4:05 p.m. In any college student’s day, a wasted 50 minutes is a catastrophy.

Finally, the time that the bus route itself takes is ridiculous. It takes me no more than 15 minutes to bike from one campus to the next, and yet it takes the bus 20 minutes because it has to stop at the Eastman House, the Art Gallery or another stop at which no one either gets on or off the bus. It’s a waste of time and money for everybody that the Route 72 makes stops that are rarely utilized.

One of the goals of the administrations of both Eastman and UR is to facilitate interaction between the two campuses and their students. Eastman students are regularly encouraged to fufill their humanities requirements through classes at the UR, and UR students are likewise encouraged to hear some of the amazing concerts that take place in Kilbourn Hall or Eastman Theatre.

The fact that the university offers students free transportation is excellent. Because many students are without cars and since Rochester is often too cold to walk or bike from one campus to the other, the bus schedule is a necessity. Needless to say, neither campus could accommodate one car per student.

However, an inconvenient bus schedule is enough to prevent any student, double degree or not, from stepping inside the border of the other campus. A serious evaluation of the schedule would show that the adminstration was truly invested in helping its students improve their education.

Simply riding the bus a few times and talking to students on the bus would be extremely beneficial. There’s even a bright and early bus Friday morning at 7:03 a.m., leaving from the ITS center. You might even see me riding it.

Jansen can be reached at cjansen@campustimes.org.



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