Texas Tech Bus System Under Scrutiny By Students

The Texas Tech University bus system has been a hot topic due to the increased student attendance this semester. Many people have questioned the system, its ability to get students to their destinations on time, and its routes.

Hannah Leibold,  an English as a second language, ESL, education major from San Antonio, Texas, said she uses the bus system on a daily basis to get to and from class. The Tech sophomore said the buses are always running late, making her late to class.

Picture courtesy of Parking Services.

Picture courtesy of Parking Services.

“It makes me late to class almost every single morning,” Leibold said. “It was really frustrating because you can’t even drive on campus until almost 5 p.m.”

According to the Texas Tech University Parking and Transportation Services website, students without the proper credentials cannot drive on campus until after 5 p.m. and can only park in designated parking lots.

“They could send out a little text message thing,” Leibold said, “like an alert or a notification, to tell us they are late, or they could just let us know if a bus breaks down or not because otherwise we don’t know.”

“It makes me late to class almost every single morning.”

Leibold believes she has found a way to alleviate some of the negativity that the system faces. She said she believes communication is the issue because students don’t ever know or understand why the buses aren’t on time.

Another student, Brian Conner, a sophomore biology major from San Antonio, Texas, has a very different take on the bus system.

“I am still a fan of the bus system because it’s too far to walk (to campus),” Conner said.

Conner said he utilizes the bus system every day and believes it is very convenient to students who live in offcampus housing. Conner said he has only had one bad experience so far.

“The only negative experience I’ve had was this morning,” Conner said, “when I left early to get to class to have 30 minutes of down time, get some food and study, look over my notes some. However, the bus drivers changed, and because there were only two people on the bus, they decided it would be fine to inconvenience us two kids, and they had a 15-minute chat. So my whole idea of getting there early completely cancelled out.”

Conner said he believes there is nothing wrong with the current system, but he does wish he could somehow report on how the bus drivers do their jobs.

According to the university’s Transportation and Parking Services website, there is a place to leave comments about experiences with the parking services, but there is not a place for comments about the bus system.

Craig Cotton, transportation demand management supervisor, said he does his best to be available for students by riding the buses and monitoring the routes as well as making his email open to anyone with concerns.

This new feature is currently up and running on the website.

“In the next few days, we will have an email address dedicated to busing concerns/questions available on the transportation and parking website,” Cotton said.

Cotton also said he believes the addition to the website will help to alleviate some of the frustration students feel about different areas of the bus system.

Chloe Clifton, a sophomore energy commerce major from Fort Worth, Texas, said she no longer believes in using the bus as a means of transportation from her residence at The Villages at Overton Park.

The current bus route map. Photo courtesy of Parking Services.

The current bus route map. Photo courtesy of Parking Services.

Clifton said she would rather walk than suffer the embarrassment that took place during the first week of school when she repeatedly showed up late to her classes because the buses ran late.

“It’s very inconvenient to be off campus and not be able to walk to class,” Clifton said.

“Most times, I leave 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time just so I can get there and rest and not be like huffing and puffing and sweaty just from trying to walk to class.”

Clifton said she believes her studies suffer because she has to get up so early to catch the bus and in turn goes to bed early. She said she feels very rushed throughout the day because she has to cram everything in before her early bedtime.

Clifton went on to say she thinks the unreliable bus system will be an item she considers when she is thinking about housing for next year.

“With the growing student body,” Clifton said, “they will need to start making adjustments. They could build a lot over by the new housing community for, maybe, commuters. That would be another place for people to park, but for now, I found it to not be very reliable.”

About Vanessa Ledesma

Comments

  1. Wish we had the 25 20 bus stop at C1. We have to go to BA via C1 and get double T to come back again to C1 from where the previous bus just passed.

    • *i mean the we (mainly engineering students )need the 4th street bus to stop at C1 bus stop so that we can reach for classes at livermore center in time..normally we have to go BA and come back to C1 to walk to livermore centre.(Excuse me for the confusing comment)

  2. Stephanie A says:

    This is a great story. It definitely gives insight to what the students have to deal with. Maybe with more articles like this, students will have a chance to be heard and hopefully create change for the better.

  3. I believe that the bus system is flawed. There are so many inconveniences for students. Such as having three separate stops at the BA, when there were two before. And the North 4th should definitely stop at C1. It would make a great difference.

  4. I have never been late because of a bus. I don’t use the busses that go through campus because I don’t need to since I go to the buildings around Holden. I walk to the buses at 10:30 from my apartment, get to the building I need to be at by 10:45, and have 15 minutes to myself before my 11 am. Maybe it’s just the within campus buses that are the problem.

  5. While at Tech I would use the buses in the morning. The late arrivals were not an every day occurrence but it did happen from time to time. The most frustrating thing to see was when the bus drivers would catch one another on the routes and you would literally have 3 buses at the same stop. Instead of using common sense and having 1 or 2 buses leave that stop and get some space between one another, they would pull away at the same time with 1 bus full of students and 2 empty buses. If you happened to miss the first bus or were counting on that 2nd or 3rd bus to be on time, you had to wait 20-25 minutes for them to make their way back. And yes, I have also seen the trade off that becomes a social hour and holds everyone up.

  6. The bus system is really unreliable. Last semester I took a class that started at 4:30 (so I couldn’t park on campus) and got out at 6:20. On one of the freezing cold days after class I waited at the bus stop for 45 minutes before giving up and calling someone to come pick me up. I had to start paying to park in the flint parking garage so that I wouldn’t have to have someone pick me up everytime. With as much as I already pay for tuition and my parking spot it is rediculous that I had to park in paid parking just to insure I wouldn’t be standing in the cold for 45 minutes or calling a ride. I’ve also gotten on two buses that started going the wrong way because they weren’t paying attention. Causing me to have to get off, get on another bus, and be late to class where my professor keeps up with tardies. The tech bus system needs to get it together.

  7. Another thing is when you get on the bus at holden and the driver decides to take a 10min bathroom break. Happened to me all the time during my time at TTU.

  8. I’m not sure how plausible this is, but maybe we could create an app that keeps track of where each bus is. That way, you know when one will arrive and if it is worth waiting for instead of just walking to your destination.

  9. There is nothing more annoying than enjoying my morning walk to class and being passed by a bus and getting hit in the face with exhaust fumes and heat. If anything there should be one stop on campus and everyone else should walk. I have been able to get to class on time for four years without using the bus besides one time my freshman year because I had no idea what I was doing. Campus would be much quiter and cleaner without the unnecessary bus system.

  10. Leo O'Connor says:

    I vote for these, maybe elevated.

  11. Just saying no one is an Energy Commerce major until they are a Junior.

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