For many Baylor students living off campus, transportation to and from campus can be expensive, and owning a car may not be feasible for many. The public transportation system that Baylor provides is a free alternative to the financial burden of keeping a vehicle. However, with all the new off campus housing being developed, the bus system is becoming overcrowded, inconsistent, and inconvenient for students to use.
Due to the rise in applicants to Baylor in recent years, many changes have been taking place to restore and rebuild the campus. Dining halls and dorms are being updated each year, including North Russell, Penland, and now Martin. Because of these renovations, upperclassmen seem to be increasingly pushed into off campus housing in order to make room for the growing class sizes. Contractors and development companies have taken advantage of this and continued to build apartment complexes all around the Baylor campus. With the increase of students living off campus and the addition of new communities, it comes as no surprise that the transportation system is also in desperate need of an update.
Currently, only one bus runs on each route on fifteen minute intervals. For certain routes, such as the Gold route that runs in a select part of campus, having a single bus run those intervals may be enough to accommodate the needs of the students. However, for routes such as the Silver route that runs to several different apartment complexes in many areas on campus, one bus is not enough.
Not only are the routes overcrowded, they are also off schedule. The bus is supposed to make its round every 15 minutes, according to the bus tracker app. However, most of the time the bus takes up to 25 minutes to reach its destination again. So even if the bus route did have enough space for each student, it could still cause students to be late due to inconsistency in timing. How will we know when to leave to catch the bus with adequate time to get to class if the bus doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to?
Some may say that an easy way to combat this problem is to find other ways to campus, such as driving. Unfortunately, that is just as unfeasible as the bus system, because the parking services department made even more restrictions on where and when Baylor students can park this year. With the addition of more students bringing cars to campus their freshmen year, there is no room for the majority of the student body to realistically use their cars to get to class.
Whether it is the growth of the student body or the restrictions on Baylor parking, inconsistent transportation is a major problem. In order to be successful students, we rely heavily on our time management and scheduling, and if Baylor busses are filling up or running late, our entire plan for the day can be thrown off.
Simple solutions such as putting an extra bus on the route during a certain time of day or changing the routes so that there’s less destinations on each route could make an enormous difference in the daily lives of Baylor students both on and off campus. A person’s outlook on the day can be changed by the smallest of things. By changing the bus system to make it more accessible to students, Baylor can take an added stress off the backs of students.