While waiting at the Thompson Hall bus stop for my ride to Newmarket I overheard a conversation between two surveyors and a fellow bus-rider. The questions revolved around the accessibility of the bus stops, the convenience of the bus schedules, comfort level, etc. I was extremely displeased with the student’s responses about how she is “put out” by having to arrive to campus early and wait in the library, or how the bus isn’t waiting for her when she gets out of class. Having attended a different school for my undergrad where there is only one shuttle servicing one route and never on time, I have to say that many students do not value the Wildcat Transit as much as they should.
The Wildcat Transit, for those of you who do not know, is the University’s bus system. It services Dover with its 3A and 3B routes, Portsmouth (and the malls!) with its 4A and 4B routes, Newmarket with its route 5, as well as the Gables, West Edge, IOL, Mast Road and the Cottages (and all stops along the way) with the campus connector buses! They have just added Route 125X Rochester Express that stops in Barrington and Lee. For a non-driver, this bus service is a dream come true, not an inconvenience. I’m not confined to my apartment and to campus—and I have been able to explore the area I live in because of this amazing service!
I relied on the buses to transport me to Newmarket, weekly, last semester- and never was it late. I now rely on it to deliver me to and from Dover for my education class visits each week. Has the bus ever been late? Yes. Have I minded? Of course not! What is five minutes in the scheme of things? Especially when it is snowing, and the driver is taking extra precautions to ensure that students, staff, and locals who utilize the service are arriving to their destinations safely. The buses are always clean, and the drivers are always polite.
When asked to evaluate a service you rely on, take a moment to really analyze the situation. Today on the bus to Dover the request chord was pulled for nearly every stop on the way to my destination. If you have to get to campus early, plan ahead to go to the gym! Stop for coffee with a friend, but do not complain. It is much easier to get somewhere a little ahead of schedule than to not have this service offered to you at all.