By the end of your first semester at UR, you’ve likely become aware of just how chaotic it can be to take the Green Line on the weekend. Whether students need to stock up on food from Wegmans, pick up some other essential items from Target or simply want to go on a shopping trip to Marketplace Mall, if they don’t have a car, taking the weekend Green Line is their only cost-free option.
This results in massive overcrowding of the buses, starting with the first one on Saturday morning. The weekend routes are the most convenient for students, so people flock to catch the earliest buses on these days. Having so many students cram themselves into such a small space never ends well — shoving ensues as they attempt to claim one of the few seats available. The whole system is so overwhelmed that by about midday, if there are a couple more people trying to get on the bus at a particular stop than there are people getting off, there’s simply no room for some of the students.
The Green Line has two other routes — on Tuesday and Wednesday — that are supposedly designed to relieve some of this weekend stress on the system. However, the only substantial stop made by these buses is the Chili Walmart — no Wegmans, no Target, no Marketplace Mall. This may help somewhat, but it does nothing to correct for the fact that it’s simply more convenient for students to make all their essential stops in one trip.
The Chili Walmart is about a mile closer to campus than the one on Marketplace Drive, but it is not surrounded by nearly as many other useful locations as the latter option. Replacing the Tuesday and Wednesday Green Line routes with ones more like the Saturday route would allow for a wider range of possibilities. The buses could make nearly all of the Saturday stops as well, perhaps omitting the two movie theater stops.
Even if the weekday Green Line shuttles went to more popular locations, the fact remains that many college students simply don’t have time to leave campus on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Therefore, one way to even more dramatically increase the Green Line’s efficiency would be to move these routes to Thursday and Friday so they actually coincide with the times that students are most available to go pick up their weekly essentials. These two simple changes would result in a Green Line that is less crowded, more efficient and better meets the needs of the students it is designed to serve.