New Wheels for University of Buffalo
- By LAUREN NEWKIRK MAYNARD
Published: June 7, 2012
via UB Reporter www.buffalo.edu/ubreporter
You’ve probably seen them zooming around campus by now, in flashes of bright blue. A new fleet of UB Stampede buses are here, and they sport some interesting new features.
Christopher Austin, assistant director of parking and transportation services, says that when UB recently reached the end of its seven-year contract cycle with bus operator First Transit, it saw an opportunity to refresh the fleet and switch to a more heavy-duty, transit-style bus.
“We move around 24,000 passengers a day during peak times of year, and some of the old buses were wearing out,” he says. The new buses are a tougher breed, designed to handle a heavier passenger load, much like the NFTA buses that visit UB’s three campuses.
Annual ridership also has continued to rise, increasing by about a third in 2010 to around 3 million riders since the bus service began in 2005. Last year, the Stampede served 3,760,000 passengers.
A combination of factors has led to the increase, Austin says. UB’s efforts to promote a car-free environment have spurred interest in transportation alternatives to driving to campus, as more students and some faculty and staff members take advantage of the NFTA Metro, Stampede, shuttle and park-and-ride options. High gas prices have helped, too.