Santa Fe College proposed a number of changes to the Regional Transit System that will reduce travel time and alter routes.
The changes will come into effect later this year and will cost RTS additional money, which Santa Fe will cover, RTS Marketing and Communications Supervisor Chip Skinner wrote in an email.
Routes 39 and 62 will receive additional service hours so they run until 5:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively — two hours longer than they currently run, Vice President of Student Affairs Naima Brown said.
Routes 17 and 43 will be combined, providing a one-way ride from Rosa Parks Downtown Station to Santa Fe campus, she said. Route 27 will be realigned from Southwest Second Avenue to Northwest First Avenue to provide service to the Gainesville Housing Authority’s 400 Building, which houses people with disabilities.
Route 76 will travel along Interstate 75 to get to Santa Fe, which will reduce the amount of time it takes. It will also be expanded to provide service to the UF Health Springhill medical complex.
Santa Fe will also make administrative adjustments to improve the buses’ abilities to get to stops on time.
Brown said Santa Fe will also be launching a committee in the Student Government that will make recommendations to the college about RTS.
Students will be able to go to the committee to bring up issues they have with the bus system.
Melvin Tolbert, who works in landscaping at the college, said an issue he and other passengers have is the number of bike racks on the busses.
Tolbert said he’s noticed more people riding bikes, and he thinks RTS should add two additional bike racks. One time he had to wait for an hour until there was room on the rack for his bike, he said.
But when bus 23 pulled up to the bus stop Thursday, the bike racks were empty.
“I’m lucky,” Tolbert said. “But I got a break (this time).”
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 2/24/2015 under the headline “Santa Fe proposes expansion to RTS routes for student benefit”]