Traffic on campus at Liberty University has decreased dramatically in the past year, and it is not because fewer students have cars.
According to the LU Transit Services homepage at liberty.edu, “LU Transit recently celebrated its first full year of operations.”
Since Oct. 13, 2006, it has been common to see the appropriately placed bus-stop signs, the groups of students crowding around them and the fleet of buses moving around campus.
Richard Martin, who works in the Financial Research and Analysis department at Liberty, said the LU Transit System was started for two reasons.
“The first reason was to begin to ease traffic congestion on campus by providing an alternative way for students and employees to traverse between Main Campus and Campus North,” Martin said.
“The second reason was to make the commute between both academic centers, Campus East to Campus North, and the south residence halls to Campus North (in this order) easier for those that already did not use or have a vehicle.”
LU Transit features four different bus routes: two on campus and two that go into Lynchburg as well as moving about the campus. On campus, the buses move all over with stops at North, East, the Hill, DeMoss and the Circle.
Since their introduction, these buses and their routes have been met with a response Martin calls “overwhelmingly positive.”
According to LU Transit’s homepage, “LU Transit now operates 120 hours per week with each bus carrying over 120 passengers per hour.”
Since its induction on Oct. 13, 2006, the transit system has carried more than one million passengers total.
While this past year has seen a lot of firsts in the way of transportation, parts of the system have been used before.
In 2003, students from Campus East had to be shuttled to campus from hotels, and, in 2004, all staff members were required to park where the LaHaye Ice Center now stands. They were then brought to Main Campus by the buses.
Neither of these projects, however, involved quite the manpower and time as the current transit system.
“This system,” as Martin says, “is the result of a transit student survey sent out last September.”
“We were able to accommodate most of the needs students identified in the survey.”
For the most part, the needs of those students have been met. “I used the buses numerous times a day last year,” said sophomore Sarah Kirse, who lived in Dorm 33 at that time. “I used it especially if I had to go to North Campus.”
“I use it at least once a day,” said freshman Sean Dalton, who lives in the quads. “Most of the people in my dorm do. I use it to go around campus and to go into town.”
These are just two of the many individuals who have gotten use out of the LU Transit system, which once carried 1,849 passengers in one hour – about 30 passengers per minute. As the LU Transit home page says, “LU Transit has carried LU students and employees a combined 86,000 passenger miles around Lynchburg.”
Martin doesn’t see a transit plan carved in stone. “While we don’t want to be constantly changing the system, we do need to adapt to new opportunities and new circumstances as they arise,” he said.
Contact Daniel Martinez at email@example.com.