SGA Works to Resolve Blue Route Bus Issues
Since the beginning of 2018, Georgia State University students on the Atlanta campus have voiced their concerns with the increased wait time for the Blue Route Buses. The buses transport students to and from the Blue Lot of the Georgia State Stadium and one of the university’s main classroom buildings, Langdale Hall. Students are able to park at the Blue Lot for free, which helps students save the $215 price of parking at any of the university’s parking decks. Less than a week into the new semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) began receiving messages from frustrated students. Unofficial reports from the university cited the Courtland Street Bridge renovation and the Atlanta campus’ increased number of students as some of the main causes for Blue Route delays.
In early September, SGA’s Executive Vice President Iqbal and President Patterson met with the Transportation Office to work on resolving the mounting issues. They expressed concerns from students who had reported witnessing large crowds near the Blue Route Bus stops and even verbal arguments between students trying to get on and off of the buses.
Towards the end of September, the Transportation Office and Campus Services sent a campus broadcast email to inform students about what was being done to address their concerns. Both departments stated that the university would add an additional bus for Blue Route patrons and assign separate bus pick-up and drop off areas with barricades to create a line system. They also announced that Georgia State University Police officers would be stationed at the Georgia State Stadium pick-up area.
The following is an interview with Executive Vice President Iqbal.
When did you first become aware of the issues surrounding the Blue Route buses?
I first heard consistent complaints about the crowding and long waits at the Blue Route Bus stops in early 2018. With the closure of the Courtland Street Bridge, the buses went from having two drop-off areas to one drop-off area. In addition, we have an increased number of students on the Atlanta campus, so it was time to reevaluate the bus system.
Can you please describe some of the complaints you heard about the Blue Route buses?
People were arriving at the Blue Lot of the Georgia State Stadium an hour before the buses began operating just so that the, could attempt to beat the crowds; but they were still arriving to class late because the buses were not on time. Since there was no line system, people were expected to follow the first come, first served principal. But even that was disregarded due to frustrations with the long wait times. Some students even reported witnessing and/or engaging in verbal arguments with other students at the bus stops.
Describe your meeting with the Transportation Office.
The meeting went well. We (President Patterson and I) went in with a written proposal. Our main concern was getting a line system in place so that, at the very least, the students who come first can get on the bus first. The Transportation Office had the same idea, so we didn’t have to do much convincing.
Describe your emotions when you were informed on the new line system at the bus stops. Were you satisfied with the university’s efforts overall?
I’m glad that they were able to implement the idea quickly and effectively. The university could not implement a line system in front of Langdale Hall because they do not own the sidewalk, but they were able to implement the line system at the Blue Lot of the Georgia State Stadium. I have heard positive feedback from students. The university was also able to add a bus to the route, which has made a tremendous difference. While the problem isn’t fully solved, it has improved and it’s uplifting to know that we can work together to make positive changes on campus.