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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Campus Development: Shuttle service expanding

By Tayler Covington

Driving might seem like the easiest way to get to campus — until you have to park. The U’s campus master plan is presenting more public transportation options for students, faculty and staff to get to and from campus.

The campus shuttle service, which is used by more than 6,000 students, would be expanded to include new routes on and off campus.

Instead of going around the business loop, through Presidents’ Circle and past Greek Row to get to the Union, a small shortcut would be added through the business loop to get straight to the Union. Another installment would put a road in place of the sidewalk that goes from the Legacy Bridge, past the HPER buildings and down to LNCO, also known as HPER highway.

“Having a road there would ruin the atmosphere, but if it meant getting to class on time, I would sacrifice atmosphere for an A,” said Brady Leavitt, a sophomore communication major.

The shuttle service would also expand to a one-mile radius from the U with key locations in the Avenues, University Street and the intersection at 900 East and 900 South.

Schedule coordination between shuttles, bus routes and TRAX is being planned to make public transportation more convenient.

The U will also implement a program called BusTracker, a Web-based system with real-time bus arrival predictions at specific time point locations along a bus route. BusTracker would let passengers know when the bus was arriving through text messaging, so they wouldn’t have to wait at the bus stop.

A study done earlier this year said students who live less than a mile away from campus are more likely to walk or bike to class. Students who live one to three miles from campus are more likely to use public transportation, such as TRAX and UTA busses. Although the U offers the UTA Ed-Pass and the University Shuttle System to students, those who live three or more miles from campus are twice as likely to drive themselves as those who live closer.

Ashley Vanderhoof, a sophomore in nursing, lives 10 minutes from the U but drives to school every day.

“Public transportation would be better, but with work and everything else, it is more convenient to drive,” she said.

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