SF State commuters boarded the University’s new shuttles for the first time Monday in hopes to make the trip between campus and Daly City BART faster and more efficient.
The University decided to upgrade the buses after a 2013 transportation study demonstrated significant support for a better shuttle service. The new shuttles hold more passengers, easing the commute for the BART riders who comprise 26 percent of the campus community, according to Director of Campus Planning and Space Administration Wendy Bloom.
“Most BART commuters arrive at Daly City BART, where the University offers free shuttle service and there is a free roundtrip transfer on the Muni 28/28L,” Bloom said in an email. “As BART ridership has increased, so have the shuttle lines at Daly City BART and on 19th Avenue.”
The University is contracting with transMetro to provide the buses, drivers, maintenance, fueling and storage, and the effort was mostly funded from parking citations, Bloom said. The shuttles pick up passengers every 10 to 15 minutes and run from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. on Fridays, according to the SF State Parking and Transportation webpage.
The fleet runs on compressed natural gas and the increased capacity helps conserve fuel, according to University Transportation Committee member Miguel Guerrero.
“Because they are larger, it doesn’t require as many buses.” Guerrero said. “That’s one way we’re saving fuel.”
Student commuters remember long lines from past semesters and are happy to see the wait time shorten.
“Lines have cut down since the buses are bigger, they take all the people in line,” said biology major Soledad Bible. “I noticed when I got on this morning there was a bus behind the first one ready to take the next group of people.”
The transportation committee hopes to make public transportation more convenient and favorable for students, according to Guerrero, who said the group will keep an eye on the 19th Avenue stop to gauge the new fleet’s impact.
“If you walk by and you see no line there,” Guerrero said. “That shows that it was successful.”