The consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University is tearing students apart. Students are being forced to attend classes on both campuses and transportation issues aren’t making it easy for them.
Parking and transportation has always been a struggle for Kennesaw State students. Between fighting for a parking spot in a deck or running to catch your specific B.O.B. route, transportation for a KSU student is not exactly an easy task.
For some, class requirements may only be offered at a single campus and transportation may be limited. B.O.B. routes seem to be scarce coming and going from the Marietta campus.
Zack Dulong, a sophomore mechatronics major, was enrolled at Southern Polytechnic University before the merger and now attends classes on both campuses.
“Commuting between schools is more annoying than anything,” Dulong said. “Leaving from KSU to go to the southern campus can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half.”
Students can use the “Where’s B.O.B.?” app online to check the status of their bus route and get an estimate of what time they will be picked up. It is not, however, without its flaws.
“The timing on the app is usually off by a few minutes,” said Brittany Rosario, a junior majoring in English and professional communication. This causes problems for students trying to make it to a class on another campus.
Reliable modes of transportation are needed before even considering taking a class on the opposite campus. B.O.B.’s schedule may be hard to adhere to if you are a student taking multiple classes in one day. Furthermore, the B.O.B. mobile app is plagued with incorrect schedules, with the bus often arriving much later than the app indicates.
Director of Transportation Debra Mahan provided an update on the issue with the app. “The company that provides the tracking services has been notified of the issues that students are experiencing this semester,” Mahan said. “They will be out later this month to repair these issues.
Another problem lies in the fact that there are no bus shelters for B.O.B. on the Marietta campus. Students who are patient enough to wait for the tardy transport are often left out in the rain.
“We are in the process of getting bus shelters for the Marietta campus,” Mahan said. “All shelters should be in place by the end of fall 2015 at the latest.”
The biggest complaint is that bus drivers reportedly do not wait for students for long periods of time and they will allegedly drive off and leave students behind to wait for an indeterminate amount of time for another bus.
Mahan said that this is a “no win situation.” While some students complain about buses being slow or delayed, others complain that the drivers do not wait. “Our drivers are not permitted to wait extended periods of time,” Mahan said. “Doing so would cause delays in the routes.”
It is clear that the Department of Transportation is aware of the issues and have stated that they plan to alleviate the logistical pains. But the question on most students’ minds is, “why were the problems not addressed before the merger?”
“A successful consolidation in any business takes a lot of thought, consideration and time,” Mahan said. “Please know that the Transportation Department worked tirelessly from the start of the consolidation and we are still working just as hard to ensure that our students are transported safely throughout both campuses.“