LSU seeks input on Tiger Trails bus service

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 2:00am

LSU wants students to help improve its Tiger Trails bus service.

The university's contract with First Transit expires soon, and management of Tiger Trails will go up for bids. In order to determine what the next contract will look like, students met with consultants from Solstice Transportation on Tuesday to ask questions and make suggestions.

The most pressing issues for students were about adapting to areas that have seen rapid development in the five years since the routes were first planned.

Many wanted to see additional service along Ben Hur Road, which has seen large growth in student housing recently. Others wanted a stop on the other side of the north gate of campus, while some asked for more frequent service to help students get home from nights out.

"I know that, if I'm a student, and I go out on the weekend and I have the opportunity for a safe ride, more opportunity for a safe ride, I'm willing to pay a little more of my money, or mom and dad's money, for that safe ride," said Taylor Cox.

Gary Graham, the director of LSU's Office of Parking, Traffic, and Transportation, helped facilitate the meeting, and said the cost would be the main inhibitor for most of the students' requests.

Each hour of service costs $91 under LSU's current contract with First Transit. But creating new routes or adding more buses to a route would cost much more.

Full-time students pay $66 per semester for unlimited use of Tiger Trails, as well as full access to the CATS system. Part-time students pay $6 per credit-hour.

LSU plans to send a survey to the entire student body later this month to ask them about their level of ridership and for their opinions about Tiger Trails. After receiving that information, Solstice plans to deliver a report to the university in March.

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