Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Forum questions shuttle Super Loop

Forum questions shuttle Super Loop
NOT SO SUPER — Student Government President Andy MacCracken explained students’ frustration with the Super Loop shuttle route, which stops at the law school before main campus, at a town hall meeting Tuesday.

The biggest problem with the revised shuttle system is the Super Loop route, AU Student Government President Andrew MacCracken said in a town hall meeting Tuesday.

AU administration added a new shuttle route in August called the Super Loop, which goes into effect after 8 p.m. every evening. The loop begins at the Tenleytown-AU Metro station, then continues to the Katzen Arts Center and the Washington College of Law before ending at the main campus.

Student complaints about the change prompted the AUSG to hold a meeting so the AU community could voice their opinions.

MacCracken discussed students’ frustrations with the Super Loop route.

“It’s clear that the shuttle primarily needs to serve students on main campus, because during the times that the Super Loop is in effect, the only people really using it are the ones that rely on the service because they live on campus,” he said.

Mark Feist, assistant director of Facilities Management, gave a presentation outlining new ideas to improve the shuttle system. He proposed incorporating a GPS system to track shuttles and establishing an automated passenger count system.

AU is also starting a Mystery Ridership Program, which will gather shuttle information through student evaluations, Feist said.

“Every step of the way, we want to be able to communicate clearly what the changes are, what the schedules are; and not making changes on the fly so you don’t know what those schedules and changes are,” he said.

He then opened a question and answer session where many students described what their primary concerns were with the Super Loop route.

Bianca Jones, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she thought it is unreasonable to drop law school students off before those on main campus, because there are fewer of them traveling at night.

“Every weekend when the Metro is closing and you know that the shuttle is going to stop running soon, from 2:45 to 3 a.m., the majority of the people on the bus end up having to get off at Katzen,” she said. “They’re all walking to the same place, when only three to five people are going to the law school. When you look at the numbers, it makes more sense to make those people [who are going to the law school] wait.”

Several students suggested reversing the route of the Super Loop and having it go to main campus before the law school and the Metro.

This would make it more difficult for those trying to leave campus, Feist said.

“Anyone traveling to Metro would be equally inconvenienced from the South side because they would have to walk to Katzen to make that bus.”

With limited resources, budget and President Kerwin’s new policy to make AU more environmentally friendly, it is not easy to make changes, Feist said.

MacCracken said he believes that necessary changes will be made to improve the service, but it will take some time.

“It just will take a little while, as all things take at AU,” he said. “It’s just going to be a bit of a slow process to make the changes, but I’ll definitely be working with [shuttle operations] closely to make sure that the changes the students need will be implemented.”

A second town hall meeting about the shuttle system will be held tonight at 7 p.m. in MGC 245.

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