Cityshuttle undergoes early growing pains

    During its first two weeks of operation, the new Cityshuttle has received an overwhelming response, carrying more than 3,000 passengers per day according to a Parking and Transportation spokesperson.

    Rebecca Drexler
    Guardian

    The route, which runs from Mandeville Auditorium to the University Town Centre Westfield Shopping Center, aims to serve a substantial faction of the UCSD staff and student population who reside in areas along the route in the greater University City region.

    “”It’s better than spending hundreds of dollars on a parking pass,”” said Earl Warren College senior Chris Edwards, a commuter who boards the Cityshuttle daily from the stop at Arriba and Regents roads. “”It probably takes just as much time to park in the Regents Lot and take the shuttle in.””

    But while the new shuttle is a popular route for UCSD commuters because it provides a free alternative to parking on campus, riders say the route is often too busy to accommodate everyone.

    Kenrick Leung
    Guardian

    Trina Sodha, a Marshall college senior, is a regular passenger on the Cityshuttle. While she notes that the UCSD-sponsored route to campus runs more often and more efficiently than the County Transit Services routes, the buildup at some stops is often discouraging.

    “”Nights are tough,”” she said. “”It’s really just a waiting game. It sucks.””

    Passengers and drivers alike claim that more than 30 people will be waiting at a stop at a time, and that there have been instances where the shuttle has completely bypassed a stop because the bus was too full.

    “”The buses are very crowded,”” said shuttle driver George Davidson. “”When we have busloads of 50 or 60 people, we can’t stop until people get off, even if there are 30 people waiting at a stop.””

    Davidson and others cite the stops at Lebon/Palmilla and Lebon/Nobel as the most crowded stops on the route.

    Shuttle supervisor Frank Buono says that the parking and transportation department is aware of the overcrowding and that the issue is currently being addressed.

    “”Our goal is to improve the efficiency of the service,”” he said. “”It will take some additional time and planning.””

    Two additional shuttles have been running during peak hours in response to the heavy passenger volume, according to shuttle driver Alejandra Medina.

    While recognizing Cityshuttle’s growing pains, Buono contends that the service has been a success based on the positive feedback his office has received.

    “”The response has been tremendous,”” he says. “”Customers are using it and seem to be very happy that its available.””

    Cityshuttle passengers agree that the route’s advantages outweigh it’s early-stage deficiencies.

    “”I’m still going to take the shuttle anyways,”” Edwards said. “”Afterall, it is free.””

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