Long bus routes challenging

MCCC student Julia Sneed does not have the privilege of going straight home after her classes.

“With all the transfers and everything, it takes about an hour and a half,” she said.

The Lake Erie Transit bus schedule has proven inefficient for many students. Students living in downtown Monroe have to ride the bus for about an hour before arriving at the college. There is no direct route from downtown. Riders have to transfer buses at the Transfer Station on Telegraph Road to the No. 9 bus. From there, students have to ride the bus through Meadowbrook, Willow Green, and Monroe High School to reach the MCCC’s campus. This causes students to revolve their schedule around the bus route.

“Next semester, I scheduled my classes a little bit later so I wouldn’t have to get up early for the bus,” Sneed said.

Students with night classes cannot take the bus home because Lake Erie Transit stops bus transportation by 6 p.m. Also, students with early Saturday morning classes have to rely on their own transportation because buses do not start until 10:36 a.m. 

“I’ve heard some complaints in the past, but I never realized how serious it was,” said MCCC President Kojo Quartey.

Since Quartey’s arrival at the college, transportation has been on his list of priorities.

“We want to make things as convenient as possible for our students,” he said. LET used to run buses on a 30-minute schedule, but now is on a 40-minute schedule.

Most of the routes were running late, causing this change. Mark Jagodzinski, LET general manager, said Lake Erie Transit is providing the best service to MCCC students in can. The process of determining which stops to make depends on the safest ability to make the stops and make the service run time, he said. Students cannot use Lake Erie Transit’s “dial a ride” to go home from classes because it is only available in Bedford and Frenchtown townships. 

That leaves students with LET fixed routes as their only bus transportation. Students who have disabilities such as wheelchair restricted, difficulty walking, or 60 years or older may use the ETS service which is a door-to-door service. LET does offer students a $25 monthly student pass. Students can use that pass for an unlimited amount of rides throughout the month. Having to be on the bus for a lengthy amount of time causes a delay in students’ daily schedules.

“Since the bus route takes so long, I had to push my work schedule back an hour to make up for the time,” said MCCC student Aleesha Colpaert.

Bus routes are not the only issue LET has. There have been some reports of quality issues inside the buses.

“If you sit in certain seats, the roof will leak on you if it is raining,” Colpaert said. 

One possible solution to get students to and from campus faster is having a bus run straight from downtown instead of using the transfer station.

“When looking at the route structure, it just isn’t feasible to run a bus directly from downtown out to the college,” Jagodzinski said. “That would be ideal for the students, it’s just not ideal for the operation of the buses.”

For right now, running a bus directly to the college from downtown is out of the question, Jagodzinski said. Another potential solution is rerouting the No. 9 bus to go directly to the college instead of  through the trailer parks. Having the college be the first stop could save students time.

“It is certainly something that we can look at,”  Jagodzinski said.

Students wanting to voice their opinion about LET buses can contact Mark J. Jagodzinski, LET general manager, at mjag@letbus. com