The Georgetown University Transportation System will introduce 16 new buses into its fleet this month. According to the Office of Transportation Management, the replacements feature enhancements to safety, sustainability, the comfort of passengers and route identification.
These changes include increased cameras for driving safety, integrated bike racks and improved fuel efficiency. Additionally, the new buses represent a collaborative effort between the university and students, as a contest elicited the new design of the exterior.
But while the buses should help the more than 2 million passengers that use the GUTS buses on an annual basis, these changes do not necessarily address longstanding student complaints in regard to the current transportation system.
For instance, students have cited a desire to add a route from campus to the U.S. Capitol complex to accommodate the students who have internships on Capitol Hill. While the new fleet shows the Office of Transportation Management looks to work with students to improve their experience, it is possible that some of the new fleet, or old buses, could be used to test a route to the Capitol.
Similarly, a larger number of buses may be used to increase service to Dupont Circle and other high-traffic areas over the weekend. Although these are among students’ favorite locations, especially on the weekend, the Dupont GUTS bus currently does not run on Sundays and its service on Saturday ends at 6:15p.m., restricting nightlife for many students to the confines of Georgetown.
While it is important to applaud the updates and improvements, it is equally important to consistently consider opportunities to connect students more effectively with the greater Washington, D.C. area and the resources it offers.