Huskie Bus runs altered

By Pam Schmidt

Although the Student Association Mass Transit Board tabled its discussion concerning the scheduling problems on bus route 3, construction on the Holmes Student Center has complicated the situation and forced the board to make emergency decisions.

During the next several weeks, NIU engineers will begin a temporary phase to secure the area around the HSC and prepare the building for the winter months, said Conrad Miller, project manager for the HSC construction project.

A tunnel shelter for the west end of the HSC and an extention of the fenced area also are included in the scheduled work for this time, he said.

As a result of this construction, bus service will be restricted. For safety reasons, the university has asked that no more than five buses remain at the HSC west loading zone at one time, said Phil Kessler, SA services adviser and chairman for the SAMTB. Buses 3 and 4 only will be loaded outside of the Huskie Den entrance.

To comply with the new five-bus restriction in the turn-around, bus routes 3 and 4 will begin running on a 20-minute schedule instead of a 15-minute schedule.

Also to help service students, bus route 7 will be altered to service the Greek Row area. For the next week, students will be able to use bus 7 in the Greek Row area without IDs.

Earlier this week, the SAMTB discussed several alternatives to help alleviate the scheduling problems of route 3, including a change in route 3 from a 15-minute schedule to a 20-minute schedule. However, the board decided to table the idea in an attempt to analyze the situation further.

Paul Johnson, street operation manager for the Huskie Busline, said the current bus schedules are not realistic in peak hours and adverse weather. As a result drivers have missed as many as two runs, he said.

Johnson said the bus company recommended extending the route to 20 minutes because it would cause the least amount of confusion to students and would allow enough time for drivers to complete the route safely in all weather.

emoving the DuSable Hall stop from bus route 3 was among the alternate ideas suggested at Monday’s meeting. Eliminating the DuSable stop would cut route times by about 3 minutes, Johnson said.

Despite favorable opinions about this idea, board members were reluctant to vote on the action because of possible student disapproval.

“It’s no big deal to walk to DuSable. The buses don’t stop at Wirtz, and people have to walk there,” board member Dave Hockberg said.

owever, board member Sean Treacy disagreed saying students would resist the elimination of the DuSable stop. “A great number of students go to DuSable,” he said.