Bus routes to change to improve service

Planners for Star Metro bus services have set to change various bus routes.

Planners make route changes every four months, according to Samuel Scheib, Planner One for the bus system.

Complaints and concerns from bus riders and bus drivers are used to determine what changes need to be made.

Scheib said one of the major reasons for the route changes is that the buses are too slow. Bus drivers are allowed to take three-minute breaks to use the restroom, but sometimes those breaks interfere with the routes’ timeliness, he said.

One student who rides the bus said improvements need to be made to make the buses run on time.

“They aren’t timely,” said Kelvin Williams, age, an architecture student from Miami. “They run slow.”

Scheib said timeliness is a top priority.

“We want to get all of our routes to run on time,” Scheib said. “We want to do what the route says it’s going to do.”

Christopher Mulliens, 20, a political science student from Jacksonville, said he believes buses’ being late are an inconvenience.

“Sometimes I have to be at certain places at specific times, and the bus arrives 20 minutes later than what the schedule says,” Mulliens said. “I’d rather spend the money used for transportation on something else than have late buses with rude bus drivers.”

Route 14, which runs through The Set, will be one of the routes changed. The change will consist of the route running inbound only.

“Fourteen is a busy route,” Scheib said. “It goes through a lot of neighborhoods and passes through several school zones.”Scheib also said that Route 14 is on a 40-minute schedule, but it actually takes about an hour to complete. So planners decided to cut the route to save time.

“If cutting the route makes the bus run on time then I guess it’s a good idea,” said Ashley Logan, 21, a music student from Chicago.

The FAMU Venom Express I, Route 46, will also be changed. It will no longer go through Hudson Street. It will stay on Adams Street and then proceed to Palmer Avenue.

“It’s generally not heavily used,” Scheib said. He also said that because the street is narrow, cars block the way for buses to get through.

There are other bus routes that will also have changes. Route Six will now pass the Tallahassee Mall and go to The Exchange apartment complex. This change will extend the route time from 40 minutes to one hour.

Unlike other buses, Route 18, which runs through Village Square, takes less time to complete than it is allotted, Scheib said. It will have different morning and afternoon departure times. On Saturdays only, it will begin at 6:40 a.m. and the afternoon departure time will be 1:10 p.m.

Scheib said he welcomes any comments or concerns from passengers and concerned citizens.

“I love hearing from passengers,” he said.

Planners for StarMetro have two meetings for every route-change period.

If there are any major changes, ads are placed in the Tallahassee Democrat. Notices explaining any changes are posted at bus stops too.

Scheib said there will be kiosks on each side of the bus plaza containing information about bus schedules and changes.