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New route map creating major obstacles for student commuters

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New route map creating major obstacles for student commuters

Capital Metro Transportation changed their route map over this past summer.

Capital Metro Transportation changed their route map over this past summer.

Juan Diaz/Hilltop

Capital Metro Transportation changed their route map over this past summer.

Juan Diaz/Hilltop

Juan Diaz/Hilltop

Capital Metro Transportation changed their route map over this past summer.

Judith Gonzalez, Staff Writer

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Capital Metro Transportation launched a new route map this summer and, although this may have been a “success” for the transportation service, it has become a problem for many St. Edward’s students who rely on it to get to campus.

 

The closest and safest bus stop located behind Basil Moreau Hall on Woodward has been removed from the Cap Metro route. This new remap favors students that go to the University of Texas and Austin Community College. It seems like students who go to St. Edward’s were not taken into consideration in the planning of the new routes. This is not only a transportation issue but a safety one as well.

Commuters without cars are left with two inconvenient and risky options. The first would be to walk from the Oltorf stop, walk through the neighborhood and up the hill near East Hall. This adds approximately 20 extra minutes to the already time-consuming bus ride.

 

The second option is to walk from the St. Edward’s stop on South Congress, and while it is closer, the heavy traffic in the morning and afternoon make it dangerous when there is inclement weather, not to mention the amount of times friends and I have been harassed by drivers on my way back from that very bus stop, making it especially concerning to know that commuters are facing that same risk every day.

“I wish St. Edward’s would take more consideration of their commuters” says Isabel Martinez who has been commuting for two years. She is only one of many who have been negatively affected by this change and left out by the new remap.

Although there are discounts like the $27 monthly bus pass, it would be almost $300 for the entire school year. UT, meanwhile, pays for Cap Metro’s service hours and a shuttle service, making commuting for them free, and ACC commuters have the option to purchase a semester long pass for as low as $25.

 

There are students who have even had to ask friends from ACC to purchase a bus pass for them because they cannot afford the bus pass offered here. It is hard to justify the bus discount if students are having to walk an extra 20 minutes just to get to and from campus. Transportation should not have to be a concern when there is already so much students have to deal with.

 

Many argue that St. Edward’s is a small campus and we don’t need as many resources because our population doesn’t compare to other campuses. Regardless, student safety should be a top priority for the university. For example, UT partners with Lyft and SURE Ride to provide free rides for students seven days a week from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on campus to neighboring residential areas. These options have made transportation for them much more convenient and safe.

Since Cap Metro changed the route over the summer, I doubt that there is any chance that the bus stop will be brought back anytime soon. At this point, I believe it’s up to St. Edward’s administration to address this issue, work something out and test different options with commuters to ensure that they can make it to class on time and, most importantly, make it there safely.

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New route map creating major obstacles for student commuters