December 13, 2010

Web Extra: Cal State Long Beach shuttle solves transportation, safety issues



Set in an urban environment with parking on one side of campus and classes on the other, it was important for California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to provide an effective shuttle service that could both transport students, faculty and staff and improve campus safety.

"[Our shuttle services] provides safe and efficient transportation from remote parking areas to educational, residential and public transit centers," explained Elissa Thomas, sustainable transportation coordinator at CSULB. "It also reduces emissions, parking and traffic congestion by reducing short trips around the campus."

CSULB has eight shuttles — most of which are All Star shuttles from Starcraft Bus, a division of Forest River Inc. — that provide transportation services to 40,000 students, faculty and staff throughout the 324-acre campus as well as transportation to and from CSULB's Residential Learning College, which is located one and a half miles west of the main campus, Thomas said. The service is provided by San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Silverado Stages, which also has a location in Long Beach.

Shuttle days and hours vary according to campus safety needs, days and hours of operation of campus facilities and demand for service. To improve safety during the late evening hours, the system is available to students until midnight, however, use of the shuttles generally subsides around 10 p.m., with peak times occurring Monday through Thursday during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

CSULB's shuttle services are provided by the Rideshare Sustainable Transportation Program, which falls under the Police and Parking Department.

"All shuttle services and the U-PASS program are paid for entirely though citation revenue — none of the money comes from student tuition or student fees," said Thomas.

Students, faculty and staff are also able to use U-PASS and ride for free throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters on any Long Beach Transit bus.

CSULB also recently added a system called Syncromatics, which has greatly improved shuttle customer service and safety as well as administrative operations, said Thomas.  

"You can view the system live, in real time, at http://csulbshuttle.com. Any passenger or service administrator can see from their computer or cell phone exactly where your shuttle is, how full it is and how many minutes it will take to reach the next few stops on the route," she explained. "The administrative portal also has playback capability to accurately investigate any service issues or questions that may arise."

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