Stretched straight over two miles of Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University’s Charles River campus is anything but traditional. And yet by train, bus, bicycle and foot, its thousands of students manage to get from point to point ‘- most of them on time, even ‘- every day. Unfortunately, while this commute is not avoidable, it also isn’t always efficient. Bike theft is a prominent problem both on campus and throughout the city, walking ‘- especially alone and at night ‘- isn’t always safe, cabs are costly, the MBTA system closes relatively early and the Boston University Shuttle is far from punctual.
While BU can’t control the T or bicycle theft, it can and does control the BUS and its schedule. Traffic jams and other involuntary transportation inhibitors aside, the BUS system needs work. Improvements like adding an extra bus and extending hours till after midnight were necessary and beneficial to the entire BU community. But with more students now living in West Campus added into the mix of inconvenient Boston weather and a relatively inaccessible campus layout, efficiency is key. The BUS system acts as a replacement for students unwilling to pay for the T’s B line, but because of its less frequent stops, high volume of riders and smaller coverage area, it is by no means an upgrade.
With an unorthodox, sprawling urban campus comes certain responsibilities for students and their administration. It’s important that students can get to class and back home on time and safely, and campus shuttles are commonplace among most colleges and universities nationwide. The fundamentals of the BUS system are sound and revered by grateful students from Danielsen Hall to StuVi 2 and everywhere in between, but now what needs to be worked on is reliability.
Some essential revisions to the system may include a direct return stop to Danielsen Hall, more frequent stops around campus, an extended run into Allston and of course, a more timely BUS. Even though the BUS now tweets its schedule delays on Twitter, the service should be better advertised to keep students ‘- especially those with mobile browsing capabilities ‘- in the know about BUS delays that may affect their daily commutes. There aren’t a too many things wrong with the BUS, but the things that are lacking are easy fixes that would increase transportation efficiency for students and create an overall safer, more comfortable campus commute.