“I’ve rode the bus for the last two years and I was used to the times,” Spanish senior Natalie Thomas said. “They’ve always changed the times and routes a little bit, but now it seems more drastic.”
Changes were made to the bus schedules and the bus routes around campus because of construction around campus and to “better meet classes,” said Kayla Laird, communications coordinator at DCTA.
“With this round of service changes, we aimed to improve mobility options for our riders with increased frequency and midday A-train service, better connectivity with our system, improved meet times with DART and UNT campus Shuttle changes so bus schedules better meet class schedules,” said DCTA CEO Raymond Suarez in a press release.
Also adding to the confusion around buses are reports of the UNT Transportation app — which shows the bus routes and times as well as tracks buses — malfunctioning because it shows no buses running during the day.
“The app is atrocious unfortunately, the times are always off by roughly 5-10 minutes and they never really guarantee whether the bus will stop and get you, or if the bus will actually stop where you need to get off,” Communications freshman Marla Knight said.
Although the app is managed by UNT, UNT transportation “works in partnership with DCTA to set on-campus bus routes and schedules,” George Stieren, senior communications at UNT transportation services said.
“We both have access to ridership data, and together, UNT Transportation and DCTA determine how to best serve the UNT community,” Stieren said.
Another issue reported by students are buses that do not arrive on time.
“One time my roommate and I, along with about 8 other people stood at the Maple bus stop, and the bus drove directly past us, even though we were watching the app, and the bus was supposed to stop there,” Knight said.
DCTA said they are working to resolve these issues and that students should not worry.
“The first few weeks of classes are always the busiest which means more traffic, both from vehicles and pedestrians, leading to delays,” Laird said. “As students become used to new schedules, a lot of the issues should solve themselves. A lot of times if a bus has to take a different route or is delayed- for example, to bypass city construction- it can disappear for a moment from the app which may explain some of the outages students have experienced.”
Laird also said students should sign up for DCTA’s ride alerts.
“When these delays happen, DCTA sends out updates through the agency’s Rider Alert system,” Laird said. “We recommend students sign up for DCTA’s Rider Alerts, so they are aware when delays happen.”
Students who are experiencing issues are encouraged to reach out to DCTA at 940-243-0077 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image: Students board the Mean Green Night Rider bus at the new Fouts Field bus depot on Wednesday evening Sept. 11, 2019. Image by Samuel Gomez