Early on in the semester, students were faced with problems resulting from the transition to the new First Transit bus service, including late and no-show buses. In recent weeks, however, First Transit has proved to be responsive to the issues presented by UR students and faculty and has taken substantial measures to correct these problems – making for a transportation service that is now more reliable and better able to meet the needs of the UR community.

In a letter to the Campus Times printed on Nov. 1, Associate Vice President of University Facilities and Services Richard Pifer noted that First Transit’s chronic tardiness or absences were unacceptable and assured that such glitches would be investigated and corrected – and these promises were kept.

Several steps have been taken to ensure that buses will follow the bus schedule consistently and that the system runs more smoothly overall. These steps included monitoring drivers on evening bus routes to identify and correct timing inconsistencies and adding five new large-capacity buses to the fleet of UR vehicles – combining the positive aspects of RTS with a new bus service tailored to the UR community. As a result, there has been a solution to the crowding problem of the smaller buses and a notable difference in First Transit’s quality of service.

But even after fixing the immediate problems, First Transit and University Parking and Transportation are going above and beyond, planning the implementation of GPS systems that will allow students to track the buses in real time from certain locations. This displays that they are not only reacting to trouble, they are proactively seeking new ways to improve the utility for all.

First Transit should be commended for making the improvements necessary to be a dependable service for the University. Hopefully they will continue to exceed expectations in responding to the needs of the community.

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