With two new buses and a new “on-demand” feature on its mobile app, University of Wyoming Transit and Parking Services has enhanced its service to the thousands of UW students and employees who use the system each day.
Visitors to campus also may use the UW bus system, free of charge, from several free parking lots near campus.
Transit and Parking Services Manager Paul Kunkel says ridership, thus far this semester, is on par with the past three years, with about 4,500 weekday passengers riding buses to and from the multitude of stops on and around campus.
“Parking is always an issue on major university campuses, but we are fortunate at UW to have a system in place that makes our campus accessible to students, employees and visitors alike,” Kunkel says. “Many people from Wyoming aren’t used to hopping on a bus, but it’s really quite easy, and we can get people to their destinations pretty quickly.”
The new buses are 2017 model Gillig low-floor buses, 37 feet long, and with capacity for 32 seated passengers and many more standing. The new buses have clean diesel engines with very low emissions, and they feature exterior bike racks for those bringing their bicycles to campus.
The $400,000-buses — funded 80 percent by federal grants and 20 percent from UW’s bus replacement fund — take the place of two 14-year-old buses that were in relatively poor condition. UW has a fleet of 27 buses and 11 minivans.
For all UW bus routes, riders are encouraged to use TransLoc, a mobile app that provides real-time tracking information for all buses on route and is available for free, both on the web and for most smartphone platforms. This fall, an “on-demand” module has been added, allowing passengers to request rides similar to how Lyft/Uber work. Passengers can use the on-demand functionality on demand-response routes such as SafeRide, Night Owl and LaramieLink Dial-A-Ride.
“With this new service, the customer experience is improved, and efficiencies are gained in the dispatch process,” Kunkel says.