Capital Metro bus route 670 will run on a detoured route until the end of the semester in an attempt to mitigate delays for students commuting to campus from Riverside.
“We are committed to finding a solution, and we have some more permanent fixes coming in January,” said Lawrence Deeter, principle planner in short range planning at CapMetro.
Inbound 670 buses will now travel along Pleasant Valley Road instead of I-35, but the bus will still make all of its usual stops. The outbound route will remain the same.
“There won’t be new schedules or anything like that because it is a detour,” Deeter said. “It’s a pilot to see if this can improve reliability.”
This follows CapMetro’s addition of four 670 buses during peak times in the morning and afternoon earlier this month to reduce overcrowding.
“Even after we put those additional trips in, it seemed like the morning got better, but the afternoon buses were still not coming when they’re supposed to be there,” Deeter said.
Deeter said CapMetro staff will monitor the route for the next few weeks, and the detour could become permanent in January if it works well.
Social work senior Danielle Redhead said the 670 bus has been unreliable since she moved to Riverside two years ago, but overcrowding and increased wait times have worsened since CapRemap in June. Redhead said sometimes there were as many as 40 or 50 students fighting to get on one bus.
“At most I had to wait 25 or 30 minutes, so I was just like, ‘I’ll just make sure my phone is charged and listen to music. It won’t be that bad,’” Redhead said. “But when I had to wait 90 minutes trying to leave campus, I was like, ‘Okay, this is too much.’”
Redhead said she and other students attended a CapMetro board meeting in October to discuss the issue, and she has attended several meetings with CapMetro and UT Parking and Transportation Services since then to discuss possible solutions.
“They were really pushing for CapRemap in June and thinking, ‘This is going to be great,’” Redhead said. “It was student voices that made them realize it was a problem.”
Public relations junior Ashley Stone uses the 670 bus to get to and from campus each day. She said she frequently had to drive to campus to get to class on time when the bus did not arrive on schedule. She said she is looking forward to seeing if the detour improves service.
“I think changing the route to campus will help tremendously,” Stone said. “However, I would say about half of my personal complaints are about the 670 coming from campus to the apartments, which is not changing in the detour.”
Redhead said she is pleased CapMetro was so receptive to student complaints. She will be among a group of students meeting with CapMetro in February to discuss the changes’ effects.
“Now it’s just a waiting game to see how the detour goes and what other things we can work on,” Redhead said.