Spring Valley shuttle bus stop moves locations
Moving from the 48th Street to Massachusetts Avenue, the bus will share the stop with metro buses
The American University Spring Valley shuttle bus stop relocated Monday to increase route efficiency, according to a March 28 email from University administration.
The stop moved from its current location outside the Spring Valley Building, which houses the School of Education, across the street to the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 48th Street. The AU red and green routes share the stop with existing Metro bus lines.
Ed Fisher, the Assistant Vice President of Community and Government Relations, said the change came after conversations with University stakeholders, community members and the transportation and parking working group.
The Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E also requested the change. The Office of Community Relations at AU called this change a “more efficient route and more efficient use of the existing WMATA stop that is already there on Mass[achusetts] Ave,” Fisher said. “It also reduces the idling and carbon emissions that come from the buses as they would often sit and wait for extended periods of time.”
The EPA recommends that buses shorten commutes and eliminate idling as a method of reducing emissions.
An AU shuttle station sign has been installed under the existing Metro bus sign. The route map and stop location are also updated on the mobile app and desktop version of TransLoc, the app the University uses to inform students of the arrival times and routes of campus shuttles.
Christian Damiana, a senior in the School of Public Affairs and the advisory neighborhood commissioner for 3D07, said the shuttle stop relocation is mostly positive because transportation from this bus stop will be “more convenient for students and a streamlined ease of use.”
He added that it will be helpful that the new stop is also a Metro bus stop that runs an identical route.
“Students who are waiting for the bus, if the Metro bus comes sooner, they can take that instead of the shuttle,” Damiana said.
Damiana said he requested a shelter so that students are not uncovered when waiting at the stop, but the University said that currently there is no plan to add one above the new location for the shuttle stop because there is not enough space for it there. He said he will be following up with the University on that issue and possibly suggest alternative options such as benches.
Brian Kramer, a junior in SPA and SOE, was more skeptical about the benefits of changing the route.
As a student who has taken many classes in the Spring Valley Building, Kramer said he has had continuous difficulties with the inconsistencies of the AU shuttle, so much so that he bought an electric scooter last school year to get to and from Spring Valley. Kramer, who is the recently elected vice president of the SOE undergraduate council, does not believe that relocating the shuttle stop will fix any of these preexisting problems.
“If they do the model where the bus is just quickly leaving,” Kramer said. “I’m not really sure if that’s how students operate, especially because the timetable it just doesn’t work out really well.”
“I would like admin to talk to [SOE] students and talk to us about these decisions a lot more,” Kramer said.
Fisher is optimistic that the new location for the stop will be an improvement for everyone and said that they will continue to outreach to students so they are a part of the changes taking place at AU.
“I understand this is a change and people are often opposed to change, but we believe that this change is relatively minor,” Fisher said.