The UCSD East/Regents shuttle connecting the Regents parking lot with the rest of the campus will be rerouted for the second time this school year on Oct. 10, UCSD Fleet and Shuttle Operations confirmed to the UCSD Guardian. The route, which originally began at the Price Center turnout and changed to the Gilman transit stop as of Sept. 19, will again be moved to start at the Rupertus Lane bus cutout across from the Student Services Center.
Assistant Director of Fleet and Shuttle Operations Jim Ruby informed the Guardian that the route will be adjusted for a number of reasons, including to improve traffic flow.
“The reason for this change is to reduce congestion and to address safety concerns at the Gilman Transit Center, while maintaining convenient access to multiple transit routes,” Ruby said.
Ruby also listed four reasons for the initial relocation of the shuttle stop from Price Center to Gilman Drive: to accommodate the School of Medicine staff and faculty, to avoid the Light Rail construction and Voigt bridge widening project, to prepare for the Gilman Bridge construction and to circumnavigate the congestion at Price Center.
According to Ruby, the purpose of choosing a location convenient for those at the School of Medicine was to “[encourage] them to utilize one-time parking in the Athena/Medical Center area and to then use shuttles for commuting between East Campus and the more parking-constrained campus core.”
Ruby further clarified that due to the multiple construction projects in progress, the stop would have been relocated at some point this year, if not in September.
“With Light Rail Transit construction and the Voigt bridge widening project beginning during the academic year, we decided to make this change now, instead of making the change midway through the academic year,” Ruby stated. “With the [additional] completion of the new Gilman bridge in the next 12 to 18 months, the shuttle stop would be permanently moved to this location due to Voigt bridge closure and replacement project.”
Esperanza Gutierrez, chair of the All Campus Commuter Board, added overcrowding of the East/Regent shuttle as another reason for the shuttle’s rerouting but explained that she felt students should have been included in the relocation discussion.
“The change was made to attain a larger bus to accommodate overcrowding; however, to my understanding, PC loop is not enough space to allow a larger bus to pass through,” Gutierrez told the Guardian. “I do feel, however, the sudden change should have engaged students in the process and allowed sufficient time to provide student input to focus on alternatives and notify the commuter community ahead of time.”
Gutierrez also remarked that the change in location was unfortunate, but it should not be too disruptive to students.
“I believe the change will not drastically affect students, but it is inconvenient placing students in an already congested space on Gilman,” Gutierrez said. “The change can affect schedule changes on students.”
Ruby lastly noted that there are no current plans to change other shuttle routes.
“[There are no other route adjustments] at the moment; however, we will need to remain flexible and be prepared to make the necessary changes as the campus grows and changes during this growth,” Ruby stated. “When these changes do occur, we will work hard to communicate them to our campus constituents so that there are no surprises.”