With the loss of one of Wichita State’s most convenient parking lots due to a new dorm project, the university is looking for a convenient way to help students get around.
The new dorm will make the already jumbled parking situation direr starting this semester as students will be forced to park further from their classrooms. To help out, the university has developed a proposal to bring in bids from potential contractors for a shuttle system. About 10 contractors attended a meeting and tour held by the university.
The purpose of the tour was to give contractors an idea of the layout of the campus and of the routing and possible construction that will be required for the job. During the tour the attendees rode in one of the two buses the Admissions Office uses for campus tours.
The buses were used in the tour to give potential contractors an idea of what kinds of buses will be needed. The size and turn radius of the buses will be important in making a decision.
The university has provided a rather detailed chart showing how busy each area of campus is throughout different times of the day. It will be the job of the selected bidder to not only provide the buses, but to also deal with routing specifics.
The university would like stops to be made at Ahlberg Hall, Grace Wilkie Hall, Hubbard Hall, the Duerksen Fine Arts Center and the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex explained Vice President of Administration and Finance Mary Herrin.
This will allow students the option of riding shuttles to and from campus by choosing to park at the Metropolitan Complex located at 5015 E. 29th Street, which will remain an open parking lot for the time being.
The buses will be paid for by student fees but won’t require identification to board so anyone using the remote lot at the Metropolitan Complex will be able to use the shuttles to get to and from campus. The contractors will be responsible for determining the number of buses and how often they will make stops on the route.
There is a possibility that the shuttles could be available during special events such as basketball games, especially those that take place during class hours. There is no anticipated need for use of the shuttles during the summer.
“We would like the shuttles to start running a week before classes begin to allow time for set-up and routing,” Herrin said. All of the buses will be handicap accessible and there is consideration to place covered benches strategically at each stop.
Herrin also stated that “nothing is set in stone,” but the university is actively working to make the shuttle system a reality. More details should be worked out in the coming weeks as a contractor is selected.