University of Minnesota Campus Shuttle

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The University of Minnesota's Campus Shuttle is a zero-fare bus service operating on the university's Minneapolis and St. Paul (Falcon Heights) campuses. In 2009, the system carried more than 3.9 million riders,[1] making it the second-busiest transit system in Minnesota after the Twin Cities' primary provider, Metro Transit. It outpaces all of the suburban transit providers in the Twin Cities, as well as those of outlying metropolitan areas in the state. Duluth Transit Authority serving Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin is the state's third-busiest provider, while the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority ranks fourth.[2][3] The shuttles are operated under contract by First Transit through the university's Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department.[4]

There are five routes in the system.

Route number/name Notes
120 Weekend Circulator This runs along Washington Avenue through the West Bank to Cedar Avenue before traveling through Seven Corners before turning onto 19th Avenue near the Walter F. Mondale Law School. Then, it runs north across the 10th Avenue Bridge before heading east down University Avenue towards TCF Bank Stadium on the East Bank. After looping around TCF Bank Stadium, it heads south on Oak Street towards the McNamara Alumni Center and the Superblock dorms. Finally, it runs west on East River Parkway, serving the Weisman Art Museum, before looping back south via Arlington and Pleasant Streets to go back to Willey Hall on the West Bank. It runs Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday.
121 Campus Connector The longest route in the system, this runs along Washington Avenue through the West Bank and East Bank campuses in Minneapolis, then turns north onto Oak Street. It then works its way around TCF Bank Stadium to the University of Minnesota Transitway and heads to the St. Paul campus, ending at the St. Paul Student Center.
122 Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator Often seen abbreviated as "WABC". This route circles clockwise from the East Bank to the West bank and back across the Mississippi River using the Washington Avenue Bridge and the 10th Avenue Bridge.
123 East Bank Circulator This route circles counter-clockwise through the East Bank campus.
124 St. Paul Campus Circulator This route circles clockwise through the St. Paul campus.
125 University Avenue Circulator Operated by First Transit, this route is a trial program, currently running Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Starting at 4th St and 17th Ave SE, the bus runs in a clockwise loop down 4th St to 3rd Ave, before turning around onto University Ave to run back to and around TCF Bank Stadium to head back 4th St and 17th Ave.

The system started running hybrid-electric buses in 2008.[4] As of 2010, the system's fleet is primarily composed of hybrid buses.

During the school year on regular weekdays, the shuttles operate with schedule-less service as often as every five minutes. In 2008, the system carried 3.55 million riders. Despite the fact that the shuttle service is free, it is comparatively inexpensive to operate: with an operating cost of $4.55 million in 2008, the operating subsidy was only $1.28 per passenger. Even Metro Transit's busy METRO Blue Line required a subsidy of $1.44 that year, and that was with many riders paying $1.75 or more for a ride.[2]

The shuttles carried 3.9 million riders in 2009. In 2010, Parking and Transportation Services received the annual Transit System of the Year award from the Minnesota Public Transit Association.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andre Eggert (September 20, 2010). "U transit system gains recognition". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "2009 Transit System Performance Evaluation". Metropolitan Council. 2009. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Mattson (June 2008). "Effects of Rising Gas Prices on Bus Ridership for Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems" (PDF). Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, North Dakota State University. p. 7. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Brianna Bierschbach (November 23, 2008). "U receiving 16 new buses". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 

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