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Monday, June 24, 2024

Some students unaware of RTS route changes

After chanting "Later Gator" more than 10 times with six other UF students, Michelle Moses looked frantically for her ride to the Campus Lodge apartment complex.

But after an hour of sitting on the sidewalk, digging her red high-heeled shoes into a pile of dirt and twirling her hair around her finger, she realized she would need to find another ride home.

Moses didn't know Regional Transit System, which runs the Later Gator buses, redirected several of its routes.

Later Gator's A, C and F routes now pick up and drop off passengers on SW Second Avenue. There was no change to the B route.

"It's so cold out. This is awful. Why didn't anyone tell me?" Moses said.

Theresa Harrison, spokeswoman for RTS, said the changes are meant to keep people safe by preventing them from crossing University Avenue.

"Our goal is to provide the safest environment we possibly can," she said. "Now the majority of people won't have to cross a very busy road anymore."

The new routes were decided on after the city, the University Police Department, UF employees and the Gainesville Police Department met with RTS.

At the meeting, it was decided that University Avenue is unsafe because of the heavy traffic flow and because people cross in the middle of the street when there is oncoming traffic, Harrison said.

Since the majority of entertainment venues are on the south side of University Avenue, there was no need for riders to cross the busy road, she said.

"It is important that we came together and decided on this now," she said. "It could have been a major problem if someone was to trip and fall in the middle of such a busy road."

The changes are also meant to alleviate some of the heavy traffic flow on University Avenue, Harrison said.

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Cars will not have to stop for buses and will not be slowed down by pedestrians crossing the street.

"It's going to benefit everyone," she said. "This is about safety for our bus drivers, drivers in the Gainesville area and students."

RTS is trying to advertise their route changes.

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