The bus is a wonderful addition to a campus as large as this one. RTS is there to not only get us throughout the city but also from building to building on campus. While it is great to travel for free without paying gas there are some glitches in this system. There are some difficulties that make the RTS system less than spectacular. Here are some questions that will pop into your mind as you ride the RTS as a Gator and make you want to ask the University of Florida bus system.
1. Why can’t the bus app tell when an approaching bus is full?
As a college student, there is nothing better than standing around and wasting time when you have places to be and things to do. My favorite waste of time is sitting and waiting for the bus for 15 minutes, then having it appear only to be completely full. There is nothing more exciting than spending half an hour waiting for a bus to take you to campus, am I right? Wrong! The app, which is only accurate about 60% of the time, can tell me where a bus is and how long it will take to get there but not if it’s full?! I need technical support to make some modifications fast because this just doesn’t cut it anymore.
2. Why does the bus take off when I’m still getting to my seat?
Dear bus drivers, just because I stepped on the bus doesn’t mean it’s all right for you to step on the gas. It’s the most embarrassing moment when you’re on the way to a seat and almost fall on your face as the bus zooms away from the curb. They tell you to wait until the bus is fully stopped before standing, shouldn’t the same be true when you’re getting on the bus.
3. Is there no weight limit for the bus?
One of those evenings when the bus let about 1000 people squish together and permit it to be “safe” once we got behind the yellow line I heard this very valid question. Everyone knows not to pack too much into a vehicle because it places more pressure on the wheels and you can ruin the vehicle. Is there no code for buses, because while they are different even airplanes have a weight a limit? Even if there isn’t a weight limit can we consider a body limit besides the yellow line? Speaking of yellow lines those are coming up soon.
4. Does being behind the yellow line truly make me safe?
Move back! Move back! Those are the cruel words of the bus driver as you’re running late for class or just trying to get anywhere in a timely manner. Your fate is truly in the hands of the driver and the silver bar you’re barely holding. What makes them think that the one or two extra people, adding on to the already squished 30 plus individuals, are that much safer once behind the yellow line. Does the yellow line have some special barrier that’s going to keep me from falling forward compared to being right in front of it? I think not.
5. Can the bus A/C get more settings than freezer, sauna, and off?
There’s nothing more annoying than it being a breezy day outside and getting on the bus to the A/C being on full blast. We all know that the bus has few air settings you either get freezing, hot sauna or nothing at all. On the long nights when you’re coming back from an exam, the library, or even the club you just need a nice neutral flow to keep you awake, not suffocating, and not huddling up against unsanitary public bus seats.
6. Is there a way to make the windows visible at night so you’re not just guessing stops?
The hunt to get home also known as trying not to miss your stop when riding the bus at night. The tinted windows seem like a great idea during those sunny Florida days but come night time it’s like trying to see after getting your eyes dilated. If you don’t look through the windshield by the driver you’re pretty much at the mercy of memory and hoping, you see some faintly familiar looking building or tree.
7. Why do you slow down for unoccupied or not requested stops?
The bus may not stay at the stop long enough for you to walk up and get on once it’s there, but rest assured the bus will slow down at the stop no one is at when you’re in a hurry. There isn’t a moment I can think of when trying to get to class on time that the bus not only drives at an awful speed but then proceeds to slow down next to stops with no one there.
8. Are you really going at the right speed if someone can pass you on their bike?
Speaking of awful speed, is it okay for the bus to be traveling slower than a student on a bike? Let’s say it again for the people in the back, drive the speed limit or maybe above but do not be below because we have places to go. Come on University of Florida bus system.
9. What is the proper sign to show you want the bus to stop?
I understand some people look genuinely disinterested, but just because I’m looking down at my phone doesn’t mean that you should speed past me at the bus stop. There are also moments when I’ve been standing alone at a bus stop and just because I was standing behind the sign the driver passed me. So, does that mean I must be right next to the sign to get picked up?
10. Do you drive away from people running on purpose?
It’s perfectly acceptable to stay on schedule as a bus that must pick up multiple people across the city. Why can’t the bus stop for a regulation time like a school bus? Just stopping for one minute would save so many people from running late and running for the bus just to inevitably have it zoom away.