With help of ASMC and Mills Public Safety, the new shuttle schedule went into effect on Oct. 15 and will account for the traffic on Interstate Highway 580 during rush hours.
According to ASMC, the new schedule was made to take into account the heavy traffic on the route from Mills to Berkeley during rush hour, and to prevent the late arrival at each stop that causes various problems for both users and operators of the service.
Natalia Sandoval, the ASMC student service chair, worked closely with Niviece Robinson, director of public safety, to finalize the new shuttle schedule.
On Oct. 11, the first two loops of the shuttle, which departed Mills at 6:30 and 7:20 in the morning, demonstrated the issue of the current schedule. In the 6:30 a.m. loop, the shuttle arrived on time to Berkley with traffic on the route. However, in the 7:20 a.m. loop, the shuttle departed Mills on time, but did not arrive in Berkeley on time at 7:35 a.m. Instead it was 10 minutes behind the schedule because I-580 started to become more packed with commuter cars at around that time
The new schedule has now been changed to add five more minutes to each loop from Mills to Berkeley. The earliest shift of the schedule has also moved to 7:00 a.m. from 6:30 a.m. In the new schedule, the shuttle drives the same route, which stops at UC Berkeley and MacAuthur Bart Station.
According to shuttle driver H.D. Nelson, the current schedule gives insufficient time for the route between Mills and UC Berkeley.
“The current schedule only gives 15 minutes for the route from Mills to UC Berkeley which is supposed to be 18 minutes with light traffic according to Google Maps,” Nelson said.
He later explained that the shuttle would arrive at Mills and Berkeley up to 30 minutes late due to the heavy traffic on the current route. Nelson would typically use his break time to make up the extra time spent on the freeway.
“The extra time will definitely help me to catch up the schedule,” Nelson said. “However, from my experience, it is still a very tight schedule for the rush-hour loops in the morning.”
Amber Escobar, who takes the 7:20 a.m. shuttle for an 8:00 a.m. class in Berkeley, mentioned she will be adjusting her schedule to adapt the change of the service.
“[The old schedule] is perfect for me,” Escobar said. “I would probably take the 7:00 one of the new schedule, which means I need to spend [an] extra 20 minutes in Berkeley.”