Around Campus: Bobcat Tram

Bus service offers tips
for getting there on time

By Mary Kincy

A photo of a Bobcat tram.

A Bobcat Tram waits for riders. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Juarez, The University Star.

The first final exams of the fall 2011 semester at Texas State begin Wednesday, Dec. 7. For those, who regularly use Bobcat Tram to get around campus, the exam schedule could affect the volume of ridership.

Paul Hamilton, manager of the Bobcat Tram bus service, says a student planning to take the tram and hoping to be there on time should allow a few extra minutes to ensure it happens. 

Bobcat Tram will operate on its normal schedule through the last day of finals, Dec. 14, but Hamilton says it’s impossible for officials to predict when buses may experience overflows — and students, delays.

“There are going to be peaks and spikes in ridership that tend not to exist during the normal semester,” he explains.

A map of Bobcat Tram bus routes for fall 2011.
Bobcat Tram routes are depicted above. To view a full-size map, click the image.

Outside the final exam period, Hamilton says ridership spikes 20-30 minutes before the start of a class — meaning peak times differ from day to day, depending on class schedules. Other times throughout the day, buses are nearly empty.

During the weeks of finals, all that changes as students’ schedules adapt to accommodate assigned examination periods.

“We cannot say with any certainty how many people will show up on any given day,” Hamilton says, calling ridership during finals “different and unpredictable…That’s why the most prudent thing for students to do is leave 15-20 minutes before they would normally leave.”

A tool for students concerned about Bobcat Tram arrivals and departures is available here, where an application that gives users with GPS-enabled mobile devices real-time information about where a bus is in relation to their stop is available free of charge.

To view the normal operating schedule for Bobcat Tram, go here. Information about the Interurban Bus Service, which will continue to provide limited service throughout the holiday break and resultant university closure, is here.

Bobcat Tram does not operate on non-class days or official university holidays.

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