UTS to add a new bus route to Rochester in two weeks
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 16:02
Two weeks from now, UNH’s Transportation Services will add a new Wildcat Transit bus route to Rochester. The route will be operational by Feb. 18, allowing students and faculty to commute between campus and the city.
The Rochester line is an express route with limited stops along the way. The route will start in Durham, with stops at Sullivan Tire in Lee, the Lee Market Basket plaza, and the intersection of Route 125 and Route 9 before ending at the Rochester Home Depot. The service runs from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and will not run on weekends.
“This was a route that we had over 20 years ago. It was a successful route, but due to budget cuts that route (was) eliminated,” Transportation Services Manager Beverly Cray said. Cray indicated that Transportation Services received a grant that helped fund the new route.
“This grant gave us the opportunity to look at this corridor again, because the traffic on Route 4 at the traffic circle and on Route 125 is so heavy,” she said.
Cray has been working on getting the new route up and running. UTS recieved its funding through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. CMAQ grants are focused on improving air quality by making transportation more efficient. According to Cray, the route will lower emissions by helping the 900 UNH students and faculty who live in the Rochester area commute to campus.
“The grant we received included funding for a new bus to support this service. The drivers are looking forward to having a new route to drive,” Cray said.
Kate Dusinberre is a graduate student in math education and has been driving buses for UTS for the last eight years. According to her, the bus staff isn’t worried about adding the new route and will be all set when it starts in two weeks.
“It’s just a new route to learn,” she said. “Some more training.”
According to Dusinberre, the route is primarily geared toward commuting and is funded for the next three years. People have been asking UTS for this route for a while, looking to make the commute from Rochester to Durham easier. After the three years are up, UTS will examine how the route is doing and decide if they should continue it.
“This run is for a lot of UNH faculty and students who can’t take the other buses, so this helps them out,” Dusinberre said.
Feelings about the new route are mixed amongst students. Many UNH students said they don’t know what is in Rochester outside of housing. For some, it means a decided lack of interest in visiting a place that has nothing to draw them there, while others are willing to try it at least once to see what the route has to offer.
Ally Breton is a resident at the Gables and relies on the bus system to get to and from class. Breton said that she finds the UNH bus system to be very convenient.
“I don’t like how after 7 the bus only comes every 20 minutes, particularly in winter,” Breton said. “But overall it’s very good.”
Breton said she didn’t know what Rochester has to offer but was willing to go on the new route to see what’s there.
“I don’t really know what’s over there, but it’s good that they have routes that go to places other than campus,” Breton said.
Upon hearing that the new route will stop at the Lee Market Basket plaza, Breton said she would definitely use the new route.
While some are willing to try the route out of curiosity, many students have opinions similar to Sham Zuidema. Zuidema lives in Dover and uses the buses to commute to campus.
“About 90 percent of the time I get to campus on the bus,” Zuidema said.
Shrugging, Zuidema said he doesn’t go to Rochester often and probably won’t use the new route when it opens.
“It’s nice to have, but I typically just take the bus from Dover,” Zuidema said.