The Buff Bus will permanently discontinue servicing the Discovery Learning Center, its first stop on main campus this Sunday, Oct. 15. It will begin stopping at an already existing RTD stop a couple blocks down Regent Drive, near the Coors Events Center.
The Campus Pedestrian Safety Committee decided on the change at a Sept. 28, meeting, citing safety concerns. They cited a 2016 report by the city of Boulder, which found that the intersection of Regent Drive and Colorado Avenue had the highest rate of accidents of any intersection in the city.
The Buff Bus is a necessary mode of transportation for students on and off campus. It is primarily used to transport students from the Williams Village housing area to stops around campus.
No students were consulted about the change, though there have been student members of the committee in the past, according to Rita Martin, communications manager for Parking and Transportation Services.
David Cook is the senior transportation management program manager and the liaison between PTS and RTD. He said that because of the closeness of the stop to the intersection, lines of cars stuck behind the Buff Buses often end up blocking traffic flow. This ends up as “not a good situation” for pedestrians, who try and navigate around the traffic and drivers who are in each other’s way.
“It’s challenging trying to improve things, because everybody’s out there trying to move at the same time,” Cook said. “It isn’t that far away, more just a change. Hopefully everybody is in favor of trying to improve safety.”
The timeline of the change is unusually short, according to Cook. He said PTS thought that RTD would take longer to consider their proposal of removing the bus stop, as there was discussion between the two entities about how to adapt the bus routes. However, once they made the decision to shift the Buff Bus route to the RTD stop further south on Regent Drive, he said they wanted to “go for it” as soon as possible.
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, posters were hung up at Buff Bus stops, as well as a permanent sign at the current Discovery Learning Center stop. The Twitter account @CUBuffbus tweeted about the change with @CU_PTS replying to that tweet later in the evening, and the CU PTS Facebook page posting a brief announcement.
When the CUI began looking into the change around 2 p.m. Thursday, these were the only notifications that could be found. Since then, the @CUBoulder account retweeted the @CU_PTS account’s reply.
Brandon Le, a freshman, lives in Will Vill and takes the Buff Bus to the stop every day. He said that while it’s good that safety is a priority, the abruptness of the change isn’t ideal for students.
“I wish they gave us a few more weeks to see the difference and show us where it would be, then switch it,” Le said, who found out about the change on Wednesday.
For those interested in giving input on the changes, the Pedestrian Safety Committee’s next meeting will be 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Police and Parking Services building, across the street from the Engineering Center.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Lucy Haggard at email@example.com.