UR is made up of many campuses spread throughout the city, which creates a unique need for a personalized and dependable busing system for students who commute from campus to campus. Last year, the University announced it was replacing Regional Transit Service, a city bus service, with First Transit, a private company that specializes in college transportation, offering flexible schedules and customized vehicles. Students noted the change on Sept. 1 when First Transit, supporting the familiar Red, Blue and Green lines, was introduced to the University community.

While a new system needs time to adjust to effectively serve its community, we are now seven weeks into the semester and students are still experiencing late buses or even buses that never show. This is especially taxing on student schedules when a late bus means you are tardy for your next class, or have no other means of getting home. If the purpose of the change from RTS to First Transit was to provide students with a more reliable and specialized busing service, this effort has thus far failed.

Students, faculty and staff are extremely disadvantaged by the current ineptitude of First Transit. Its sole job is to run the bus lines effectively and reliably so patrons can meet their commitments throughout the city. It remains vexing for students to be caught without any means of transportation, as they must then resort to finding other means of transportation, such as an expensive taxi ride.

It is time for the University, which is paying for this service, to put more pressure on First Transit to make changes, whatever they may be, that will create a system that works. Accordingly, it is First Transit’s job to see that buses arrives on time and to ensure that students have access to the transportation upon which they depend.

Although students were initially optimistic about the prospect of a private shuttle service, First Transit must make the necessary adjustments to prove that it can meet the needs of this University.

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