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September 3, 2001

Metro bus service to go both ways starting September 13

By Louise Donahue

Riding the bus will be a little easier starting on September 13, when Metro launches the new "Come & Go!" service with buses running in both directions through the UCSC campus.

This bus stop on Hagar Drive near the bookstore is one of those widened to accommodate expanded Metro service. Photo: Louise Donahue
Santa Cruz Metro Transit District bus service has been carrying riders in one direction only on campus, traveling in a counterclockwise direction by way of Hagar Drive to McLaughlin and then to Heller, leaving through the West Gate. After September 13, Metro buses will enter at both the main entrance and west gate.

"I think this is really going to help the flow of traffic," said Candice Ward, of Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), who serves as the liaison between the campus and Santa Cruz Metro Transit District. She said that in addition to the two-way buses, wider bus stops should prevent traffic backups behind buses.

Work crews have been busy during the summer widening several bus stops and realigning the Hagar and McLaughlin intersection to allow the large Metro buses to turn right onto Hagar from McLaughlin. The work was finished ahead of schedule.

Ward, a former bus driver and transit supervisor for SCMTD, rode along for a dry run of the new routes. Everything went smoothly, she said. "SCMTD and TAPS staff are adding the finishing touches to campus bus stops before students return to campus for fall quarter. "Metro Come & Go" is the result of a great cooperative effort between UCSC and the transit district, and we're excited about it."

Ward has been working closely with SCMTD to get out the word on the new service and the renumbering of routes. Buses coming onto campus through the west gate will have odd-numbered routes, while those using the main entrance will have even-numbered routes.

These are the changes:

  • High Street 1H will become Route 10

  • Walnut Street 1W will become Route 13

  • Laurel Street bus 1L will split, becoming Laurel Street West--Route 15, and Laurel Street East--Route 16

  • Lower Bay 1B will become Route 19

  • Westside 1 (the westside express) becomes Route 20 Westside

  • A new express bus, Route 22, will have limited stops, enter through the main gate, and go around the perimeter to get riders to McLaughlin and Science Hill more quickly.

A new pocket-sized brochure outlining the routes will be distributed soon, and passed out to students in the bookstore area before classes start and during the first few days of classes, Ward said.

UCSC shuttle service will also increase, with 20 percent more capacity on the perimeter route, said TAPS transit director Tracy Freeman. UCSC will also run extra shuttles as riders become accustomed to the new Metro routes, and will monitor the situation closely. "No one's going to get stranded," he said.

For additional information, the public may contact Candice Ward at (831) 459-5495 or cjward@cats.ucsc.edu, Metro's Customer Service Department at (831) 425-8600, or online.

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