The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 12, 1979, Image 11

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THE BATTALION Page 11 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1979 Shuttle bus routes studied to check needs schedules. mu; drivers generally get this view of shuttle buses, which B :enow getting a closer look from other quarters. Transpor- hepjttion Enterprises Inc., which supplies and manages the jisesfor Texas A&M’s off-campus shuttle system, is conduct- taswei ig a survey to see if routes or schedules should be rear- )le will rmaliot ouldtt arena rtemali tlaliaix ranged. The University is also consulting in the study. The company has also taken a closer look at the condition of the buses, and the new manager reports that extensive work was done over the semester break. Battalion photo by Lynn Blanco onditions ‘deplorable Buses, office overhauled d By MARK HANCOCK Battalion. Reporter pispoftation Enterprises Inc., provides Texas A&M Univer- ith shuttle bus service, has rgone management and per- changes irt an effort to turn Saul a situation new manager rt Key termed “deplorable’ despicable’ . s buses were generally in [shape at the end of the fall [ster due to the lack of neces- aintenanee, Key said, said there hasn’t been much partira enance during the past year, to "|i| rt for major failures when re ted Mi were obviously necessary. , N ew ] fid the buses are in good shape ause of extensive overhaul during the semester break, e now have three mechanics md mechanics — and during break we spent between 100 and $12,000 soley on lEp^jicp, ” Key said. Tony Bur- lEIs-shop'foreman in Bryan, ture , hat during the two months be- icenier, he break, TEI spent $19,000 P'S. said that repairs on the buses led brake jobs (which 65 per- f the diesel buses needed), ical system work, fuel tank ications and other repairs such hcing wheel bearings and in- new batteries. iponding to recent complaints |1 leaks on the buses, Key said, |ave no fuel leaks, but if the sitting on an incline, fuel may [hfough the filler cap. The orig- traps that hold the tanks in are weak,-so we have modified $ to keep any breaks from oc- |g.” |y also said that all the buses id I thoroughly checked and four ),0001 1 ! I received new fuel hoses, tank June* and brackets. ese "deplorable conditions Idle result of the previous man- i| lent of Bryan’s TEI and the at- icrtyw onal s» 1 to Hi titudes of the head office in Austin, Key said. “The attitude was to run the buses until they wouldn’t run anymore — and then fix them, he said. Scott Keller, president of TEI, said, “Obviously the former person in charge in Bryan wasn’t doing the job or he would still be there. It s possible that we were not totally in formed about the situation, because I’m genuinely interested in the con dition of the buses in Bryan. If the present manager doesn’t do the job we ll let him go. E.C. Oates, chairman of the Uni versity Shuttle Bus Operations Committee, said that he is presently “pleased with the personnel and service” at TEI. “It’s the service we buy and I think we re getting a bargain, Oates said. Oates said that the condition of the buses at the end of the fall semester was from gradual dete rioration. He said that although TEI might not have been running full strength everyday, all day long, he was still pleased with the service Texas A&M had received, “but of course we re always hoping for bet ter service.” “The peak travel periods are the most important times for the shuttle service,” Oates said, “and as long as they (TEI) provide consistently at these times, we will be satisfied. Key said that he should be able to improve the quality of service to Texas A&M substantially this semester and during the coming year with a preventative mainte nance program that he and Burnett started last fall. Burnett said, “I don’t think we will have any major breakdowns like transmission or engine failure more than once a month.” Key said that the buses have been running almost 100 percent of the time this semester, except for a few instances when drivers didn’t show up for work. “We depend on our drivers to give us information about the run ning condition on the buses, Key said. “Our drivers give us a report every afternoon and when they complain we do our best to fix the bus. In the past this just wasn’t so. The drivers agreed that the buses were in good shape this semester. Key said that the change of at titude within his company is the reason that Texas A&M can expect to recieve “at least as good or better service than the other Texas col leges receive.” Burnett said, “I know where Aus tin is in their maintenance programs and 1 believe at present we are doing a better job. I’ve had real good results with the Austin parts warehouse and have no problem at all getting parts for the buses over here. Key said, “We have 29 buses and 27 routes to fill everyday we run. I believe in paying for what you get, and a person can’t beat paying two bits a day to ride our buses. *★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ A study is underway to determine whether changes are needed in Texas A&M University’s off-campus shuttle bus system. Transportation Enterprises Inc., which supplies buses for the University, is conduct ing the survey. The system has received com plaints about time schedules and available space from students this semester. The system uses 27 buses which run seven routes. There are three routes east of the campus, three south and one north. University Police said that 6,647 shuttle bus passes were sold this semester. In an attempt to ensure that the bus system will serve pass holders adequately, Robert Key, general manager of TEI, said it has supplied its drivers with count sheets so that they can record the number of students riding the dif ferent bus routes each day. These reports will be given to E. C. Oates, chairman of the University Shuttle Bus Operations Committee, for examination. Key said this will also aid the company in determining which times of the day that ridership is greatest. One problem occurred on the Villa Maria route north of Texas A&M last Thursday afternoon, when a breakdown of the bus caused about 50 students to wait for almost an hour and a half to get home. One student who rides the route had waited for an hour when he called TEI. He said they told him Eddie Dominguez '66 Joe Arciniega '74 HATE DOING LAUNDRY? Let Frannie's do it for you Aunt Frannies Laundromat * Laundromat ^Holleman at Anderson 693-658/Jy 'frkik If you want the real thing, not frozen or canned . . . 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A happy and healthy St. Valentine’s Day from Athletic Attic. the bus had broken down, but was repaired and back on route. The student said he has had other problems with the bus system, such as trying to get to his early morning classes. He said the buses serving his apartment complex are sometimes so crowded that three people must sit in each seat, with passengers standing in the aisles. The student said he felt if the buses ran 15 minutes apart instead of at longer time intervals, there would not be so many riders waiting at one time and the buses would be less crowded. The same student said bus passes have been checked on his route only twice this year. He said that possi bly some people have not paid for passes and are taking up extra space. Key said that the bus breakdown on the Villa Maria route was taken care of as quickly as possible. “When we have a major mechani cal problem with a bus, we send a replacement out immediately, but in this case the problem was minor and it would have taken longer to get a substitute from Bryan than to have a mechanic fix the bus.” “The bus service has not been dependable for the past two weeks,” said Sylvia West, who rides the Hol- leman route. She said that recently the buses have been running on 30-minute intervals and makes many students late for classes. Drue Townsend, who rides the Puryear route, and Brad Mcjunkin, who is on the Anderson Parkway route, both said that the buses have been on time lately but are crowded at all times of the day. Paul Huppertz, a route 2818 rider, said “The buses are crowded, but I haven’t had many problems getting to class on time.” “The buses nearly always run on 15-minute intervals and I have never had a problem finding a seat or getting to class on time,” said Karin Knapp, who rides the Scarlett O’Hara route. Other students say they are satis fied with the bus service. Key said, “ TEI is trying to find out where the greatest need for the buses is, and we may rearrange our schedules if changes need to be made in the system. GAYLINE 693-1630 Information Referral Counseling M-Th. 8-10:00 p.m. RECORD COLLECTION Presents BLUES BROTHERS Briefcase Full of Blues” $498 Blues Brothers B ERIC CLAPTON “Backless” BILLY JOEL “52nd Street” $C48 PLUS THESE ALBUMS: BEE GEES “Spirits Having Flown” $5.98 SAMMY HAGAR “All Night Long” $4.98 We Now Stock MAXELL Recording Tapes 211 University Drive 846-3901