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CrimsonRide
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image
Founded 2007
Headquarters Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Locale University of Alabama
Service area University of Alabama campus
Service type Campus shuttle bus service
Fleet 17 (2008)[1]
Daily ridership 13,510 (weekday)
Operator First Transit
Web site http://crimsonride.ua.edu

The CrimsonRide is an area bus service serving the students, staff, faculty, and general public on and around the University of Alabama's campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The CrimsonRide is operated by First Transit, under contract with UA's Department of Transportation Services, and commenced operation on August 11, 2007.[2] The CrimsonRide replaced the previous Blue & Yellow Routes operated by the Tuscaloosa Transit Authority as the public transit option for students, staff, faculty, and general public on the UA campus.[3]

The system consists of 17, 40-foot (12 m) long Nova LFS buses with 41 stops.[1] The buses run as early as 7 a.m. until as late as 4 a.m. with 15 being used at peak hours and 8 being used at non-peak times.[1] The buses run at 5 minute intervals on the academic routes in the central portion of campus and at 20 minute intervals on the perimeter of the campus.[1] Each bus is also equipped with a TransLoc GPS monitor allowing for the status of each bus to be monitored by users in real time.[4]

History

The development of an on-campus shuttle system was initially offered as a serious proposal in Fall 2005 with an initial opening date set in August 2006,[5] but by Winter 2006, university officials announced the system would be operational by August 2007.[6] In June 2006, the UA Board of Trustees approved the budget of $1.8 million for the proposed transit system. The funding for the system project was paid with a $1.5 million federal transportation appropriations grant and supplemented with an additional $375,000 generated from parking fees.[7]

Paying tribute to the Crimson Tide nickname, the moniker CrimsonRide was selected by students voting in the 2006 Homecoming elections over the second place name of Tide Transit.[8] With the start of the bus system, several roads throughout campus were closed to vehicular traffic in becoming solely bus and bicycle lanes. The most notable of the road closures are located around the Quad.[1] The system would open in June 2007 in a test mode, with the official opening occurring on August 11, 2007.[2]

After its first semester in operation, the system saw an average ridership of 13,510 passengers per day.[9] The CrimsonRide served its 2 millionth passenger, Ciara Prater, at the beginning of its second year of service on August 25, 2008.[10]

Routes

Front view of a CrimsonRide bus, running the Crimson route.

The CrimsonRide operates four routes during the weekdays and a singular, comprehensive system on the weekends.[11] The four weekday routs are listed below:

  • Core/Crimson Route - Serves the central portion of campus around the Quad, sorority row and the south campus residence halls. pdf map
  • Blue Route - Serves the eastern portion of campus around fraternity row, the campus recreation center and the east campus residence halls. pdf map
  • Gold Route - Serves the northwestern portion of campus around the west campus academic buildings, the north campus residence halls and Bryant-Denny Stadium. pdf map
  • Green Route - Serves the southern portion of campus around the south campus residence halls, Coleman Coliseum, Sewell-Thomas Stadium and Bryant-Denny Stadium. pdf map
  • Coleman-Quad Express - Serves the large southeast commuter parking lots, by directly connecting the area surrounding Coleman Coliseum on the southeast edge of campus, to the Quad in the heart of the campus.
  • "Perimeter Route" - Separated into North and South routes, the perimeter buses run on nights and weekends, stopping at various places across campus.
  • "Entertainment Bus (E-Bus)" - Run during times when the neither the perimeter nor the regular routes are running, the E-Bus allows students to access the downtown Tuscaloosa "nightlife" area to the west of campus. Students swipe their Action Card and $2.00 is deducted from their Bama Cash account. This route runs as late as 4 am.
  • "348-RIDE" -In operation when the perimeter and regular routes are not running, this free service to students allows students to call in a van to pick them up and drop them off anywhere on campus and in the direct vicinity surrounding campus.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e University of Alabama Department of Transportation Services. "CrimsonRide : Riding the Bus". http://crimsonride.ua.edu/pages/q-and-a.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  2. ^ a b Cain, Mary (2007-07-26). "Officials: CrimsonRide is ready to get started". The Crimson White.  
  3. ^ Stallcup, Katie (2006-04-20). "Trolley runs empty routes round UA". The Crimson White.  
  4. ^ Mills, Melissa (2007-08-30). "TransLoc tracks UA buses". The Crimson White.  
  5. ^ Caddell, Marlin (2005-11-04). "Plans for campus transit system in the works". The Crimson White.  
  6. ^ Stallcup, Katie (2006-02-03). "Transit system still in planning stages". The Crimson White.  
  7. ^ Dawkins, Stephen (2006-06-06). "Transit system plan rolling along". The Crimson White.  
  8. ^ Barzler, Katie (2006-12-04). "Crimson Ride chosen as name for new transit system". The Crimson White.  
  9. ^ Jones, Adam (2008-01-15). "UA to put shelters at seven bus stops". The Tuscaloosa News.  
  10. ^ Staff Reports (2008-08-26). "CrimsonRide celebrates two million". The Crimson White.  
  11. ^ University of Alabama Department of Transportation Services. "CrimsonRide : Route Maps". http://crimsonride.ua.edu/pages/q-and-a.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
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