Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

U-M enhances bus service between North and Central campuses

In a continued effort to improve the transit experience for faculty, staff and students, Parking & Transportation Services has implemented bus service enhancements for travel between North and Central campuses.


Students board a university bus to North Campus at the Central Campus Transit Center. (Photo courtesy of Parking & Transportation Services)

Watch the “Michigan Transportation Musical” video to learn more about the various transportation options available on campus.

Five additional bus trips between Pierpont Commons and the Central Campus Transit Center have been added Monday through Friday between 9:50 and 11:50 a.m. To help improve weekend capacity, five trips have been added between 1 and 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

“These service additions are focused on the needs identified of our campus community,” said Keith Johnson, associate director for PTS. “We expect these enhancements will help reduce crowding at peak periods of travel between North and Central campus.”

PTS also plans to add time of arrival on the electronic signs at the CCTC by the winter semester, Johnson said.

At a time with increased travel between North and Central campuses, Steve Dolen, executive director of PTS, noted the competing challenges of meeting the increased demand for bus service while providing affordable, green alternatives that reduce carbon emissions and meet the university’s sustainability goals.

Dolen said that to help reduce the university’s carbon emissions, his unit purchased seven diesel-electric hybrid buses, with more to be delivered in the near future.

Since the university rolled out its first four hybrid buses nine months ago, it has seen a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy and reduced emissions for those buses. The hybrid buses are part of President Mary Sue Coleman's broad sustainability initiative, called Planet Blue, which includes the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the new buses, the university purchased an additional 30 hybrid sedans. The sedans are available to faculty, staff and students for authorized university business travel, both local and long distance.

PTS also partnered to launch a new campus bike-rental program, Blue Bikes, and has encouraged popular express bus services to Canton and Chelsea, pursued ride sharing, and has witnessed an increase in vanpool use.

"We have more than 600 employees using vanpools at the university right now. These are going very well," Dolen added. “We plan to put more bike racks at campus buildings, and are working to establish a bike-share program with local partners next year.”