Officials evaluating bus routes


Officials evaluating bus routes

By Morgan Fink

DeKALB — Student Involvement and Leadership Development officials have assessed the changes to the HuskieLine bus system as they’ve developed a mass transit budget proposal to be submitted to the Board of Trustees in two weeks for approval.

The HuskieLine bus system is managed by the Student Association and funded by student fees and passengers’ fare, according to the HuskieLine website. All bus system routes and policies are established by the SA Mass Transit Board.

Jill Zambito, Student Involvement and Leadership Development director, and Marzena Szmydt, Student Involvement and Leadership Development accountant, are part of the group of individuals who create the proposal. Zambito and Szmydt are in the process of finishing up their proposal.

“We are actually in the middle of doing calculations, and those proposals are heard by an overall student fee board,” Zambito said. “Those proposals then go on to the Board of Trustees for final approval.”

The bus system went through updates for the 2017-2018 academic school year following budget decreases between Fiscal Year 2017 and FY18. The total expenses dropped from $4,214,569 in FY17 to $4,021,635 for FY18 — a $192,934 decrease.

Routes 1L and the 1R have been removed from the system and are now a part of the 2R and 2L routes, said David Benissan, SA director of Mass Transit.

“I think it’s crazy,” said Brian Turnbo, junior computer science major. “I don’t think the routes should’ve been combined because I would use the 1L and the 1R as backups when I’d miss the 2L or the 2R. Now when I get out of class at 11:50, the bus comes at 11:40, and I have to wait longer on campus.”

Benissan said he and his team authorized the changes to the bus systems in an effort to be more efficient and create better costing options.

“The point of taking some buses off of the schedules and combining routes was to provide more efficiency and time for students to get on and off of the buses,” Benissan said.

Other lines removed from the system include the Barsema Express, which required students to take two buses to travel to Barsema Hall.

“The biggest concern I heard from students was that they have to take two separate buses to get to Barsema, and now they can condense their commute to one bus,” Benissan said.

A second bus was added to route 7. The route services DeKalb shopping centers such as Walmart, 2300 Sycamore Road, and Kishwaukee Hospital, 1 Kish Hospital Drive.

“I think having two Route 7 buses is great; I don’t have to wait an hour now if I only have to take a quick trip to Walmart,” Turnbo said.

Route 5, which services Twombly Road, Greek Row and Eco Park, was also changed to include one additional bus.

Benissan said at peak hours during the day, Route 4 turns into route 5 to handle the added riders.

Every bus route leading to campus continues to run every 10 minutes, Benissan said.

“The changes made to the bus schedules are fine, I just wish they’d bring back the 1L and the 1R buses again,” Turnbo said.