Editorial: Students wait too long for Lextran



Lextran and UK became partners this July in hopes of reducing the need for student parking. However, the amount of riders that take advantage of the U-PASS program results in sometimes hour-long lines.

The lines at the heaviest traffic time have became unrealistic, and students who are tired of waiting for a spot and seeing full busses pass one by one eventually end up walking or driving.

A student can sometimes wait for an hour, sometimes more, to get onto bus route 15, Red Mile Village. It seems the amount of busses on this route do not represent the volume of riders.

According to Jill Barnett, Lextran director of community affairs, “From July to August (of 2015), we saw a 60 percent increase in use of the (U-PASS) program.”

In a question and answer session with the Kernel last week, President Capilouto said he would look into the issue of overcrowding.

Related: Free Lextran rides, more bike lanes could compensate for lost parking

Students, who make up 17 percent of Lextran riders according to a previous Kernel article, are being passed by full busses and while they walk to class.

Students should not have to wait an hour to catch a ride to campus, especially when campus is less than two miles away from where route 15 operates.

“Last school year there were four busses that were scheduled on route 15, and for this school year we scheduled five busses, based on ridership from last year and anticipated ridership due to the (U-PASS) program,” Barnett said.

But is one more bus enough for an increase of 60 percent in riders?

“Throughout the semester we will continue to monitor the ridership, as well as the on-time performance of that route, and make evaluations based on that information,” Barnett said.

The volume of Lextran riders is increasing partly because of the (U-PASS) inititave. According to Barnett, route 15 has seen a 56 percent increase from last August to this August. The stadium route saw a 51 percent increase in ridership during the same time period.

Related: Lextran to be free for all students, staff

With the university paying $160,000 for the first year of the agreement, Lextran should find a way to add more buses.

“Students represent a significant portion of our ridership, particularly the University of Kentucky. We certainty appreciate that, and value that relationship, and hope that the growth of the (U-PASS) program continues,” Barnett said.

The safety of students is an important factor in transportation. With winter approaching, students shouldn’t wait in cold weather or have to walk when they could slip on the ice on the way to class.

If UK wants to cut down on student parking and make the best of the U-PASS program, Lextran needs to step up their end of the deal and provide students with an efficient and reliable way to class.

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