Crimson Ride buses running late: email blames students blocking roads, off-campus apartments

Maven Navarro, Contributing Writer

Students are running late for classes due to inconsistent Crimson Ride bus arrivals and inaccuracies within the bus tracking app, Passio Go. 

Passio Go allows users to view Crimson Ride routes in real time using GPS technology. Some students are concerned about buses not arriving at the estimated time. 

“I noticed the buses were wrong during the first week of classes. I live off campus and I almost missed my first day because of the bus being way too early and leaving before the app said it should,” Kay Maxwell, a sophomore majoring in English who lives at the Ion Apartments, said. “The buses also come really late sometimes and it is really inconvenient for people like me who live off campus and do not have a car, so the bus is our only form of transportation. Sometimes the bus does not come at all so I have to wait for the next designated time.” 

With the buses being unreliable, students are forced to find other forms of transportation such as Joyride, catching a ride with a friend or walking. For off-campus residents, such as Maxwell, that walk can take around 30 minutes.  

“A lot of the time, I walk or try to get a ride from someone who has a car. The latter is unreliable because on a busy campus like this, driving everywhere is hard,” Maxwell said. “Most of the time I walk, especially during peak bus times.” 

When students are trying to return home after class, the buses are especially busy. 

“When I am catching the bus on the way back from my later classes, they are usually very inconsistent and sometimes it will take me over 30 minutes to get home,” Emma Poole, a sophomore majoring in finance and economics, said. “I do notice on the app that in the later parts of the day a lot of the buses will stay at the bus hub for significant amounts of time which probably leads to them being off-schedule. I am not sure why they do this, but at the end of the day, it is really frustrating for people trying to get home or head to other activities after classes late in the day.” 

Some students have given up on taking the bus and have found new modes of transportation all together. 

“I decided taking an alternative way to get to class would be better,” Emma Stermitz, a freshman majoring in business, said. “Instead of taking the bus, I now just walk or take a joyride to my further classes.” 

According to a response sent from the official Crimson Ride email address, the Passio Go app was recently updated, which the email said was causing some issues. The sender of the email did not identify themself.  

“Traffic, students blocking roads, weather, and as of Monday morning, a bus went down upon startup. We had no way of knowing this was going to happen, or time to communicate this with students, but got a replacement out asap,” the email read further. It added that many apartment complexes were misrepresenting bus arrival times to students. 

“I had one [student] last week that was told by the apt managers at Redpoint. They are telling students the bus runs on a ½ hour schedule, when in fact it is on an 18 min schedule,” the email read.  

The email also said that the Crimson Ride was having problems hiring enough drivers, which has been an issue for public transportation and other industries since the U.S. began reopening after the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020.  

“We at Crimson Ride-Transit welcome feedback, so please encourage readers to call us at 205-348-7433 when they have a challenge so we can act upon it immediately,” James Knickrehm, UA associate director of transit said in a statement through the University. “Meeting campus expectations with safety, effectiveness, and efficiency is always the goal of the University’s transit system.”