Thursday, March 5, 2015

Population increase causes Bobcat Shuttle backlash

By Megan McGee

SAN MARCOS – As enrollment continues to grow, many students are becoming frustrated by the increased difficulties of commuting to campus.

Overcrowding on the Bobcat Shuttle has caused students, such as exercise and sports major, Danielle Sanders, to arrive late to class. 

"Sometimes the bus is full and this has made me late to my classes, Danielle Sanders said. “I have some classes at Jowers and parking is sometimes over capacity,” Sanders said.

Texas State University broke its 17th consecutive record for total enrollment in the fall of 2014, rising nearly 3.5% in one year, according to a press release from President Denise Trauth.  As a result of the growing student population, traffic and construction have slowed down shuttle transportation.

Education major, Alexandria Woodward, has suffered from long, uncomfortable shuttle rides to campus.

“Traffic is getting worse, places are getting more packed and even campus feels crowded,” Woodward said. “It's mostly affecting me at my bus stop.”

French and geography double-major, Chad Petrouski, believes that more shuttles should operate during campus rush-hours.

“There are too few buses running at peak times,” Petrouski said. “San Marcos can’t handle it.”

In attempt to increase Bobcat Shuttle expedience, each bus route may have four shuttles operating simultaneously. With additional stops and increased traffic, shuttles have had delays in picking up students.

Second year university bus driver, Charles Geay, said that new bus drivers experience difficulties staying on a strict schedule.

“The first year is incredibly stressful for bus drivers,” Geay said.

Students are provided with the Bobcat Shuttle when they pay an annual $95 fee, included in tuition. In addition, they may purchase a parking permit, but construction difficulties have limited the amount of available parking.

Senior, Caleb Gonzales, commutes by shuttle, with no interest in purchasing a parking permit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
“Paying to park is just about the dumbest thing I've ever seen," Gonzales said.

Sophomore, Cedrick Cradle, also noticed inconveniences in parking on campus.

“You are never guaranteed a spot but if you go to one of the commuter lots you may have to walk a while but there will be a spot if you get lucky,” Cradle said.

For more information on Texas State University commuting, please visit the Transportation Services Page.

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