The UMBC Transit Department is working to approve a new proposal for an additional eighth bus route in order to provide access to areas west of campus.
According to the the Transit Department, a new route for UMBC transit buses may be added between Howard Community College, Ellicott City, and the Mall in Columbia. The original proposal was based on feedback by students and parents on potential transit additional locations. The new route is currently being surveyed in collaboration with the Geography Department and the Transit Department in a geographic informations system, or GIS, in order to map out students living in the surrounding area, as well as other relevant data.
UMBC Transit currently offers 7 routes, carrying 366,000 riders, connecting the campus to locations such as BWI, Arundel, Halethorpe, Catonsville, and more.
Though this would add to the over 300 stops already a part of transit routes, new bus route should not disrupt any services already offered by UMBC transit according to Daniel Teage, interim director of UMBC Transit Services. “This is just an addition to the services we already offer. The next part is to put the proposal to the Student [Fee] Advisory committee.”
Once the Student Fee Advisory committee hears the presentation concerning the time, cost and effect by UMBC Transit officials, they will deliberate on whether to allocate funding to the project. The board represents the students interests in the majority of economic matters and should they deem the route cost effective to student life as a whole, they may allow the project to begin work on preparations for the addition.
According to the proposal, 1000 students live in the routes’ area and may potentially host an additional 200,000 rides a year. Should even half of the students living in this community elect to bus, they would eliminate rides from 500 cars and reduce carbon emissions. Additionally there may be reduced traffic on campus as a result of such a route adoption.
Should the expansion occur as planned, the resulting route would provide Howard Community College and UMBC students access to a city population of over 65,000, as recorded in 2010 by the US Census, in addition to transportation to the Mall in Columbia’s 216 storefronts and job opportunities.