More buses needed for winter

By Gina Lorusso

More students are hopping on the 2R and 2L buses to make their voyage smoother as the weather gets colder.

It already seems like every bus going past the residence halls is full at the first stop at Stevenson Hall, making it a struggle for other students along the route to ride to their class in time. What’s worse is waiting some 15 minutes for another bus that turns out to be full once again.

“Every time I try to take the morning bus, it’s full so I have to practically run to class, but I’m always late,” said freshman kinesiology major Daniel Bryski. “It pisses me off, and we need more buses coming through the dorms, at least in the morning.”

It makes perfect sense: More students are taking the buses to class in the morning, so add more buses to accommodate the students’ needs.

“We can’t add any more buses to any routes for financial reasons,” said Joe Frascello, Student Association director of mass transit. “The buses are paid for exclusively by student fees, and with decreasing enrollment each year the funds going into the bus system shrinks along with it.”

Unfortunately, this only makes matters worse for students who need rides to and from campus but end up being left behind.

I’m sure you know that feeling of abandonment when you see your long-awaited bus pass you by at the bus stop, not even slowing down for a second.

The anger sets in at the realization you’re going to miss your class because the full bus never gave you a chance. Then there’s the cold chill that takes over your body as you have to wait a half hour for the next bus, praying there will be just one open spot left for you.

OK, I’ll admit that sounds a bit dramatic, but I guarantee almost every student who will be taking the bus in this increasingly chilly weather knows what picture I’m painting here.

At the beginning of the semester, the SA restructured many of the campus bus routes to be more efficient, according to an Aug. 29 Northern Star article.

These changes didn’t really make a large enough impact to affect the mass number of students in the residence halls getting to class.

Now that the weather is getting colder and fewer students are walking or riding bikes, buses seem to be the only option.

“The SA should’ve known that the 2L and 2R lines would get this busy towards this time of year,” said Alexandria Hansen, freshman early childhood education major. “I hate walking in the cold, and they should’ve added more lines or something before this weather came.”

But as Frascello said, buses are entirely funded by student fees, and considering NIU’s enrollment issues, that sets up a big problem for buses.

“Until the university sees an increase in student enrollment, there is little chance of any more buses being added,” Frascello said.

It looks like until we see that happen, we’ll have to suffer the cold and potential tardiness.

But we’re Huskies, and we’re built to last. So bundle up, dig in for the cold and consider catching an earlier bus to class.