9-6-19 Sustainable Travel

An LSU Tiger Trails bus waits for students to board at Lockett Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.

For many LSU students, overcrowded transit is an ongoing problem, especially in the case of Purple and Gold buses. 

The Purple and Gold buses, part of LSU’s Tiger Trails transit system, mostly service Greek Life students who live in the houses along West Lakeshore Drive. The buses circle around most of campus, looping near Lockett Hall on Field House Drive. 

Mass communication major Richard Haydel said he had negative experiences with the Purple and Gold buses, especially during bad weather.

“I am beyond disappointed at the bus service on campus, especially since many people use them as primary sources of transportation," Haydel said. "Just today it was pouring raining and the bus was so overcrowded I couldn’t get on. I had to walk to class soaked.”  

Criminology major Elizabeth Perot said her experience depended on the time of the day.

“There have been one or two times this year where I couldn’t get on. But it’s mostly around 10:30 classes, especially when people try to get on at the last-minute stops to make it to campus right when classes start,” Perot said.  

Kinesiology major Emma Haught said she uses the buses only in the late afternoons, but she’s never had trouble getting on. 

“I only take it when I go to the UREC around 5 p.m., and it’s never crowded at that time," Haught said.  

According to Executive Director of Facility and Property Oversight Tammy Millican, the Tiger Trails service is taking measures to improve by reviewing ridership information and making adjustments in the routes.

Millican said the service was trying to incorporate feedback from the transportation survey sent out to students, faculty and staff last semester. 

"We just started working with a consultant to review all bus routes to ensure that buses arrive and depart in a timely manner, stops are located in the correct places, and that there is not overcrowded or underutilized buses on the routes,” Millican said. 

Besides the issue of overcrowding, the Tiger Trails transit app, TransLoc Rider, isn't always reliable.  

“I rarely have trouble with the bus app, but sometimes the time is off," construction management freshman Ellie Ward said. "Today the app said it was 50 percent full, and it was packed. Like you couldn’t move. Everyone was sitting, and everywhere to stand was taken up.”

Millican said that her office has not received any complaints about the app this semester and that bus wait times are hard to predict.

“We try to get it down to as much of an exact science as we can time-wise," Millican said. "So much of it is dependent on the number of riders that day, what traffic is like, the weather conditions, all of that can affect it.” 

Some students, especially freshmen, are also confused about how to use the app in general. Mass communication freshman Anna Snellgrove said she had trouble understanding which routes the buses took.

“I don’t ride the bus often,” Snellgrove said. “I downloaded the app and tried to figure it out, but I got confused. I couldn’t map anything out. I couldn’t figure out where the buses were going.”

Millican said it may just take a while for freshmen to get used to the new facilities around the University's campus.

“I think there’s a learning curve,” Millican said. “I think when freshmen get here, they have to learn all the systems on campus, whether that be the way the transit system works or the way dining works. It’s just a learning curve.”

Richard Haydel was formerly an entertainment reporter for The Reveille.

Load comments