Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Students demand earlier bus

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Posted on October 04, 2014 in News
By Brian Gordon

The 8:45 bus that runs from Woodbury Campus Center in Portland to Gorham is often late getting students back to the dorms.

A quick search on MaineStreet yielded nine classes that end at 7 p.m. or just after, forcing those students who are heading home in Gorham to wait nearly two hours, as they miss the 7 p.m.

Waiting in the warmth of Woodbury Campus Center was Lydia Kaply, a freshman nursing major. She had been waiting for the bus since 7 p.m. Her anatomy and physiology class was supposed to go until 7:55 p.m. but her professor often cuts them early.

She noted that there’s a lot of classes that conclude at seven and those students miss the bus ride home scheduled for 7 p.m.

Kaply was joined by Niko Milanoski, a freshman accounting major, who waited an hour for the 8:45 p.m. bus to bring him back to Gorham. His astronomy class ends at 7:50 p.m. and he settles in for a good hour wait twice a week.

Joy Pufhal, dean of students, was receptive to student complaints. She said that the seven p.m. bus would become the 7:10 bus, beginning Oct. 6.

Kyrie Ovady, president of the Queer Straight Alliance, and a junior media studies major, said the group has to plan their meetings around the bus schedule.

Alena Kiel, a senior liberal studies major who joined the group said that USM ought to call the bus the 8:55 because that’s when it usually shows up.

“It’s a long time on a dark bus with bad music,” said Gabby Bousquet, a freshman nursing major. She also added that there was a lot of confusion as to why the bus stopped at the mall on its commute to Gorham.

No one waiting for the bus could remember anyone ever getting on or off the bus at that stop. The driver just stops and doesn’t even open the door.

“If there is no longer student interest [at the mall stop] I do not see a reason to provide the service,” said Pufhal. She also added that the stop would be made on a request basis. “It is easy to identify students who wish to be dropped off at the Maine Mall, but more challenging, although not impossible, to set up a system to know if anyone is waiting at the Maine Mall to be picked up and brought back to campus.”

Regarding the overall lateness of the bus, Pufhal said she would pass along the complaint to those in charge and hopefully fewer students are seen waiting in the dark.

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