The University of Northern Arizona has twenty six thousand students on campus. Students have to move from north to south in order to take their classes daily. Northern Arizona University provides its students and faculty members the facility of in campus bus service. It is free of cost. The students are dependent on the bus service system for their regular classes. The in campus bus service system is the only source of travelling for those students who do not have their own conveyance. Apart from this, there is a flood of students in the bus right after the class is over. Owing to it, many students are unable to reach to classes on time. The situation causes negative impact on the performance and efficiency of the student. The time management skills are disrupted and the test averages show a decline. The decline in performance appraisal has direct impact on the perception of the student about the bus service. The bus service should be improved by implementing some changes in it.
Northern Arizona University has a student population of about twenty-six thousand students on its campus . Students have to travel from north to south, or vice versa, to get to their classes daily. Thankfully, NAU has a campus bus system that is fare-free for students and faculty to use. Many times students rely on the bus system to get them to their classes on time. The system tends to be the most reliable system on campus for students who do not have a parking pass or a bike. Buses become flooded with students right after classes get out. This creates complaints from the students because they are unable to get to their classes on time. Tardiness causes students to fall behind in their classes, their test average drops, and their time-management skills begin to fail. This causes students to lose faith in the bus system altogether. However, there have been some changes made to the bus system that have improved it.
After meeting with Erin Stam, the Director of Parking Services, we learned that there have been many changes made to the bus system since it originally started in order to improve it. At one point in the bus system consisted of six different routes. These routes ended up prolonging the buses arrival time and not really fixing the problem. After receiving some student feedback, three years ago the bus system was revised in partnership with Mountain Link, Flagstaff’s city transit system, which, based on a “spine” design, allows the buses to travel straight down the middle of campus. This eliminated the need for six different routes and created three routes that went to the more populated stops on campus. One of the new routes only has three stops helping students get from north to south quicker. Another improvement was the creation of an application for phones that allowed you to see where the buses were and how far away they were from a certain spot. This helped students plan their routes and allowed them to make sure they could catch a bus ride to class on time. The agreement with Mountain Link also allows students to use the city bus to get from campus to home and back. This also allowed for there to be a couple more buses added on to the route. These solutions were a great and helpful addition to the bus system; however, students were not completely satisfied with these solutions.
Every spring the Parking and Shuttle Department asks students, staff, and faculty to complete a survey about the bus system on campus. Based on the feedback, everyone wants more. More buses, more stops on each route; however, this would not be a valid solution to the problem. Erin Stam informed us that it costs two hundred thousand dollars to add a bus. This solution is not ideal because most of the time the buses are only packed because students get out of class at the same time. For the other forty minutes that students are in class, the buses just ride around and pick up a very small number of students that are not in class. More stops may not help improve the bus system because the bus stops we have now were chosen in response to feedback, central location, and their closeness to everything around them. In the interview with Erin Stam, she also informed us that there have been extensive time studies performed and maps showing “five minute walking distances” from anywhere on campus is available to everyone on campus. The interview helped us see the bigger picture and the dilemma of taking a student’s perspective and hearing the issues the bus system faces. In this proposal we will present ways that the bus system can be improved based on everyone’s needs, assessing under-utilized services and the cost of implementing new or improved services.
 Northern Arizona University. About NAU. Available: http://nau.edu/about/who-we-are/facts/#Colleges