Students have mixed feelings about Flex bus route

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Students have mixed feelings about Flex bus route

Kedran Wade/ISLAND WAVES - The university bus stop

Kedran Wade/ISLAND WAVES - The university bus stop

Kedran Wade/ISLAND WAVES - The university bus stop

Kedran Wade/ISLAND WAVES - The university bus stop

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The new 93 Flex bus route, which has replaced last year’s route 63, The Wave, is a new form of transportation that TAMU-CC students have had to adjust to recently. Now over a month into using the new route, students have some mixed reviews.

The Flex is a single bus route designed to go down Ennis Joslin to Flour bluff and back to campus, upon request. For the bus to arrive at a location, students are required to call the Flex number, give them the number provided at the Flex bus stop sign, and then the bus should arrive within the next 15 to 30 minutes.

“I hate calling in,” said freshman Ricky Longoria. “I hate that they don’t have a specific time for when they are going to be there. I’ve been late to class because of the routes.

“… It’s just so not practical. … I live at Aspen Heights where there is no covering, no bench, and I waited for over 30 minutes for the bus to come. It was ridiculous.”

“I like it more when I’m not on campus,” said junior Jordan Rodriguez. “… When I’m, say, at Aspen or somewhere else that I need for it to come, everytime I call they come really quickly, and it’s nice. And to the campus they come every hour or so.”

Thea Vidaurii, another TAMU-CC student, if she liked the new Flex she said, “Sometimes and then not really. It is a little inconvenient. … It’s just the calling that gets a little inconvenient because there is no set schedule.”

Some students like Madelyn Robledo describe the Flex as efficient.

“For me, it stops on the main stops,” said Robledo, “and when I get to the bus stop, I don’t really have to call. It just works for me.” A similar opinion was given by senior Victoria Valdez who said, “It’s a little convenient. I haven’t had any problems.”

A common issue that seemed to upset most riders was the timing of it all. Students said that it was inconvenient to have only one bus trying to make all these stops. Besides the 30 minutes to an hour wait, the bus has caused people to be late for their morning classes, an issue that Longoria mentioned to happen frequently.

“I was late to my 9:00 class because we had to stop at the Flour Bluff Walmart,” said Longoria, “then we had to stop at Momentum, and then I got here at 9:35.”

Talks of there possibly being a second bus added to this route arose among the students at the university bus stop.

“Honestly, that would solve all the problems,” said Rodriguez.

“They need a new bus,” said Longoria, “a new route and specific times to when they are going to be at each stop. It’s so ineffective and it is putting us college students at risk of missing class.”

However, Rita Patrick, the marketing director for the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority, explained that there is a threshold that they have to meet in order for there to be a second bus.

“If there is more than 15 people on the bus,” said Patrick, “then another bus will be placed, or maybe even a larger bus.” However, she mentioned that the directors of planning and operations would have to make that final call.

As for now, the students who appear to have problems with timing and not being able to get to class on time, Patrick suggested that they plan accordingly and call 15 minutes ahead of time.

Patrick also said they have been closely monitoring the Flex route, and that it has been very successful in comparison to last year’s route 63 The Wave.

If any student wishes to speak with the CC Regional Transit Authority about the new Flex bus route, or has any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. “We are always open to suggestions and feedback,” said Patrick.

Lastly, it is important to note, as stated on the CC Regional website, “Route 93 (Flex) is a pilot program and the schedule is subject to change as needed. Riders will be notified.”

For more detailed information on how to ride the bus, or where its Flex stops are located, visit http://ccrta.org/flex. To call the Flex Bus, dial 833-RTA-FLEX. The bus is in service during weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:35 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Students are permitted to ride for free with their SandDollar ID.