Revert the Discovery Park route back to how it was
This petition made change with 91 supporters!
The recent change in bus routes were designed to "reduce fuel costs and improve campus safety." While this change may be beneficial to many other routes formerly based at Kerr and the Highland Street Garage (namely Bernard Street, Centre Place, Colorado Express, Sam Bass) by centralizing them at the Union, it negatively impacts routes such as Discovery Park.
The Discovery Park bus route's terminus on main campus has been changed to Fouts Field. This is next to the Coliseum, which is close to Clark Hall, Honors Hall, and Rawlins Hall. Fouts Field isn't close to any classes. While those living on the southwest side of campus could afford to depart from their dormitory to the Rec Center stop in only 10 minutes time maximum, many students will have classes right before their bus ride to Discovery Park, and they only have 40 minutes to ride the bus. Most classes are on the east side of campus, perhaps only 3-5 minutes away from the GAB bus stop on average. The only significant buildings west of Avenue C that have classes are Bain Hall, Chilton Hall, the Physical Education Building, and Gateway Center, none of which have classes that mainly pertain to College of Engineering or Information students. Therefore, most people will be going to Discovery Park from the east side of campus, and moving the bus stop to the very west side of campus will force students to walk for 10 minutes, or a quarter of their allotted time to get to Discovery Park. By missing one bus, which is likely with the current schedule, they will have to wait 15 minutes for the next bus and spend another 15 minutes riding to Discovery Park. This means many students will have to spend their entire 40 minutes (or more) getting to the bus and riding it, prolonging commutes and inevitably increasing tardy arrival at classes. This was never an issue when the bus terminated at the centrally-located GAB bus stop, when students could get to Discovery Park in 20-30 minutes and have a comfortable break. Instead, students will now be forced to run to Fouts Field, wait in the blisteringly hot Texas sun in the middle of nowhere, and pray when the bus finally picks them up that it arrives at Discovery Park on time. Surely, getting students to class on time outweighs the increased fuel costs of stopping at the GAB?
Furthermore, the Discovery Park bus route's new terminus will not improve campus safety but decrease it. The many buses that formerly stopped at Kerr travelled along Maple St., which indeed could have posed a safety issue. However, the portion of the Discovery Park route that was gutted in favor of routing it to Fouts Field is still served by the Mean Green route. The route that DP travelled on Chestnut St., Ave D, Mulberry St., and Ave B were on the outskirts of campus. Last year, no pedestrian was hit by any buses on this specific route. The fact that Mean Green is still using this exact route but Discovery Park can no longer do so is hypocritical and will only reduce campus safety by forcing students to run across the campus in order to catch their bus. Students will likely worry about catching the bus more than looking for cars while they cross the street, resulting in more vehicular collisions with pedestrians.
Two comments from the UNT subreddit already doubt the questionable logic given behind "increasing pedestrian safety."
"Barring the monetary concerns for this change in route, I never realized it was hard for people to pay attention to the road they're walking on in order to not get hit by a bus as the author so eloquently ends this article. Obviously safety matters, but that's hardly a reason to argue for this change. It's not hard to look both ways and pay attention to your surroundings when you're near moving or stationary vehicles of that size?"
"I don't think that's the real reason as to why they are making the change. Nothing to do with almost getting hit by a bus. Especially since I don't think anyone cares whether they get hit by a bus, an SUV, or a car. It results in the same thing. This is something similar to inflation you see in the store. We aren't going to raise the price on xyz, what we will do is provide you less of it. In this situation it's about not increasing the price on students (I'm sure UNT will increase prices elsewhere), and providing less stops in the campus."
The new bus routes use a hub and spoke model, but it heavily relies on the infamous Mean Green route, known for its slow travel times of >30 minutes for a simple loop around campus. Such an unhealthy reliance is only sure to bring disaster to campus transportation. Furthermore, since the Mean Green route travels clockwise around campus, people who wait at the GAB to travel to Fouts Field will have to travel 3/4ths of the way around campus as opposed to 1/4th of the way if the Mean Green route were also offered in a counterclockwise option. Nonetheless, transferring a bus isn't ideal and wastes more time travelling. This is time that students don't have to waste.
The downsides to rerouting the Discovery Park bus route heavily outweigh the supposed benefits. Those taking classes at Discovery Park do not have time to waste on this new route, so please restore the former route that worked well for everyone.
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