Management & Operations

What's your top challenge?

Posted on April 25, 2008

The pressure of managing a university parking and transportation operation can be significant. But the challenges vary from campus to campus, state to state and region to region. In this issue's poll, university managers' challenges range from keeping up with growth to maximizing cost efficiencies.

Keeping up with growth We have experienced steady growth in ridership — no less than 15% each month. For this reason, our campus shuttles are bursting at the seams with students. Efforts are being made to partner with the local transit provider; however, their vehicles (20- to 27-passenger cutaway buses) are much smaller than our 35-foot Gilligs, and routes are a lot longer than most students are willing to tolerate. Furthermore, we are being asked to provide additional stops in the downtown area (which is being redeveloped) and other locations throughout the Bowling Green community. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough equipment or revenue to meet the demand for our service; however, we will continue to solicit federal funding opportunities and best practices for ways in which we may overcome this obstacle. Alonda Massey Transit General Manager Parking and Transportation Services Western Kentucky University.

Expanding the budget My biggest challenge is trying to manage the Aggie Shuttle with minimal administrative support and a very tight budget. I’m pushing to have the student fees for transportation increased by $2, from $11 to $13. If approved, the extra funding would help me increase the wages of our drivers, many of whom are students. Alden Erickson Bus Operations Supervisor Utah State University in Logan.

Maximizing cost efficiencies My greatest challenge is trying to minimize the cost of transit services while maximizing the efficiency and quality of services demanded by customers. David E. Harris Jr. General Manager, Operations and Finance Harvard University Transportation Services Boston.

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