Route closures would negatively impact students, apartment complexes

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History PhD candidate Jason Morgan waits for the Cameron Road shuttle to arrive Thursday afternoon. Capital Metro is considering closing the UT Wickersham Lane shuttle route and altering the Cameron Road UT shuttle route beginning in the spring semester. 

 
Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Students and employees at apartment complexes along the Cameron Road and Wickersham Lane bus routes may have to adapt to the closure of the shuttle routes near their apartments.

Capital Metro is considering closing the Wickersham Lane UT shuttle route and altering the Cameron Road UT shuttle route to serve only the Camino La Costa area beginning in the spring semester. This revision would only last until the end of spring 2014 when the Cameron Road route would be canceled altogether.

The average number of daily riders on the Cameron Road shuttle in spring 2013 was 870 and 880 on the Wickersham Lane shuttle, according to CapMetro. This is a decrease from the previous semester. Cameron Road’s route served an average of 960 people each day in fall 2012, and Wickersham Lane’s route served an average of 1090, CapMetro said. 

According to CapMetro, the transportation system uses information gathered from UT to determine how many students live on each particular shuttle route. Courtney Kinsey, manager of the Villas of La Costa apartment complex, said she thinks this information is flawed.

“They’re basing that number off of what address UT students are giving UT, and a lot of them are going to use their parents’ address,”
Kinsey said.

Margaret Demirs, Mackenzie Pointe apartment complex employee, said although CapMetro is considering revising the Cameron Road shuttle route, the eventual closure of the route would negatively impact the students who live at Mackenzie Pointe.

“That is a good concession, but I think it’s just going to hit us in the future,” Demirs said. “We’ll adapt, we’ll make it, but we just don’t think it’s fair to our residents. We’re not happy about that.”

Kinsey said if the Cameron Road bus route is canceled, it will affect how they advertise the Villas of La Costa apartments.

“We won’t market [to students] as much as we do now, especially because in a lot of our advertising, we do advertise that we’re right across the street from the shuttle,” Kinsey said. “I don’t know if [we] will appeal to students as much as we do right now.”

Biology senior April Shultz said it is likely she would move to a different apartment that is on a UT bus route.

Students who use the Wickersham Lane shuttle would still have access to the University via routes 20 and 100, said CapMetro Communications Specialist Melissa Ayala.

Physics graduate student Matthew Guthrie said if the Wickersham Lane bus route is canceled, taking the 100 bus would double his commute time.

Shultz said she would be okay with CapMetro changing the Cameron Road route to only go as far north as Camino La Costa, and she does not blame CapMetro for proposing to cancel the two routes. According to CapMetro, the University has not increased funds for the shuttles in the past several years.

If the routes are canceled, students will have to walk farther to get to a different bus stop, and some students, including Shultz, are worried that the area is not safe.

“The St. John’s area is not really well known for being a nice, safe area like our neighborhood on the bus route is,” Shultz said.

A public hearing will be held on Sept. 16, and the CapMetro Board of Directors will consider the proposed changes at a meeting on Sept. 23.