Bus routes change to stop delays

Krystal Patterson

Janel Mullins, 25, of Akron, sits waiting for the Akron express to arrive. ABRA WILLIAMS-WITZKY | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Students who use the PARTA bus system to get around on and off campus may have to make adjustments this year. The bus routes that once stopped at Music and Speech Center now stop at the C-Midway lot instead, located in front of the ROTC building.

While riders seem to be adjusting well to the new route, some do have complaints.

“There isn’t a shelter, and my kid can’t be in the rain,” Kent resident Randy Butner said.

However, he was quick to point out his appreciation for the PARTA bus system.

“This is a lot of people’s survival, without this they would be dead. I give them 100 percent back-up on the change,” said Butner, who uses PARTA as his main source of transportation.

Frank Hairston, director of marketing and customer service for PARTA, said reaction to the change has been mostly positive.

“There haven’t been very many complaints, but when change comes it is hard for everyone.”

Both PARTA’s campus and local buses previously stopped at Music and Speech, causing delays and missed connections. The changes were made to eliminate those problems.

“We did what was right for three counties. It is seamless for people getting anywhere they want to go using our fixed bus service,” Hairston said.

According to PARTA’s Web site, the bus service provides more than 550 trips per day.

Hairston said this new bus route will work out much better for riders.

Students who live close to campus also like the change.

“It is a faster walk to this lot than Music and Speech,” said Aaron Jones, freshman public relations major.

Dan Smith, a bus driver for PARTA, said he’s seen a positive change.

“So far, it sounds like it’s working well,” he said.

“There is rarely any wait between campus and PARTA buses. Students can go from bus to bus and don’t miss a connection.”

PARTA and Kent State worked together on the new route. To inform riders of the change, PARTA held public hearings, met with Kent State personnel, city officials, organizations in the Kent area and Franklin Township trustees.

Hairston said the main purpose of the change was to meet “the needs of the community.”

“We are trying to make it so that the city of Kent and the university blend together to benefit everyone,” he said.

Bus route schedules for PARTA are available online at www.partaonline.org.

Contact transportation and commuter reporter Krystyl Patterson at [email protected].