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

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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
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
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
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-
|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-
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
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
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
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
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
Key said this will also aid the
company in determining which
times of the day that ridership is
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
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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
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.
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