Frustrated students wait in long lines for free shuttle

SF State students who use the school’s free shuttles to Daly City BART said they are frustrated with the long wait to board buses. Their concerns come only a semester after the University contracted transMETRO, a full-service shuttle company, to operate a new fleet of buses between campus and Daly City BART, according a Golden Gate Xpress article.

“It makes me irritated because sometimes I have to take Muni instead and pay extra just to get to the BART station,” said Amanda Campbell, a junior who takes the bus three times a week. “It worries me because I don’t want to show up to class late. SF State is a commuter school, so why is the shuttle taking so long?”

Students board the SF State shuttle to Daly City BART after waiting in line for several minutes on 19th Avenue at the top of campus Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez /  Xpress)

Students board the SF State shuttle to Daly City BART after waiting in line for several minutes on 19th Avenue at the top of campus Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez / Xpress)

The free shuttles are scheduled to come by campus every 10 to 15 minutes, according to SF State’s parking and transportation website. TransMETRO operates the fleet of five buses that run from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. on Friday, the Xpress article states.

Monica Ramirez, a senior English literature major, said long shuttle lines make her commute from the East Bay more time-consuming.

“It is kind of a pain having to wait a long time for the shuttle and then waiting again for BART,” Ramirez said. “Rather than my regular hour and a half commute, it can take two and a half to three hours to get from school to my destination. So due to that, I’ve had to change my availability for work and cut down to two days of work.”

The SF State Shuttle Service webpage provides students with a GPS link and smartphone app to track the express shuttles. These services show that the shuttles are running on time, according to Patricia Tolar, transportation coordinator at SF State.

“Due to the longer lines, it may seem like the shuttles are coming less frequently, but our GPS tracking systems indicate that, on average, the shuttles are arriving under our advertised wait time of 10 to 15 minutes,” Tolar said. “We will continue to monitor the passenger counts and adjust accordingly. Due to the longer crowds, we do have one extra shuttle during this peak time to help ease the longer lines.

Students wait in line for the SF State shuttle to Daly City BART on 19th Avenue at the top of campus Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez /  Xpress)

Students wait in line for the SF State shuttle to Daly City BART on 19th Avenue at the top of campus Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez / Xpress)

Approximately 6,000 riders travel between campus and Daly City BART each weekday, according to Wendy Bloom, SF State’s campus planner, who said with even more students arriving on campus during the start of the semester, which Bloom said could be a reason for the long lines.

On the first day of school, Ramirez said she waited 45 minutes for the shuttle. She was the second person in line and only one shuttle came during that time, she said.

Both Bloom and Tolar suggested that students commuting by BART should take advantage of the free 28/28R Muni transfer from Daly City BART rather than wait in line for the shuttle. A free round-trip transfer for the 28/28R is loaded onto a student’s Clipper card when they exit the Daly City BART station. The transfer is valid for the end-of-the-day return trip, according to Bloom, who said this is true even if students take the shuttle in the morning.

Only BART riders are eligible for this free transfer, which can be used with a Clipper card, Bloom said. Students who don’t own a Clipper card can pick one up at the information desk in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

No changes in the shuttle service between Daly City BART and campus are planned for this semester, Bloom said.

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  • Thank you for covering this story. It’s so odd, we as students just want the excellent shuttle service from last semester. What’s odd is no one mentions that there has only been one shuttle running around 10:30, you can tell because of the unique bus and the driver. The staff that are saying they’re coming on time simply need to step out of their office and wait the half hour to 45 minutes with us to see that that’s not the case and the school isn’t getting what it’s paid for.