Director conducts transportation forum at meeting
Department of Transportation Services Director Jack Molenaar made a stop at the Pharmacy Governing Council Tuesday night to discuss proposed system improvements and pick up complaints and suggestions.
Molenaar detailed the series of estimated improvements he will present at tonight's Rutgers University Student Assembly meeting before answering questions.
Improving weekend service could cost more than $250,000 to increase bus frequency to every 12 minutes from 18 minutes, he said.
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy junior Nwamaka Okobi asked why students are only allowed to purchase one parking permit for a specific campus.
Molenaar explained that limiting parking to one campus reduced traffic in the area and avoided the construction of new parking.
"If everyone could park on every campus, everyone would drive to every class," he said. "I would then have to have a spot for what they were in and where they were going to. I'd have to build more parking."
Since DOTS instituted the one-campus parking permit policy back in 2005, Molenaar said he would never allow parking on multiple campuses.
Traffic studies in 2004 and 2008 showed that traffic on College Avenue at rush hour was reduced by 30 percent, he said. The University spends $7 million on buses, and allowing unnecessary contribution to traffic gets in the way of that amount, Molenaar said.
He also said funding for new parking spaces would come from increased transportation fees on students' term bills.
"Keep in mind if I built more parking decks, you would have to pay," Molenaar said. "This year, the cost of the Busch, Livingston and Cook permits are cheaper than they were last year. I dropped it by $20, and I raised the deck permit."
The deck permit increased because decks cost more to build, he said.
School of Pharmacy first-year student Brian Thomas proposed increasing the frequency of buses just during the mornings on weekends.
Molenaar said DOTS would look into the suggestion.
"It would [cost] a lot less obviously," he said.
Thomas also asked if the REXB could stop at the Busch Campus center. He said REXB service is often infrequent in the morning, and the stops are distant from certain spots on campus.
"I started taking the A to College Avenue and then [I'd] get on the F, but then it's almost like why even have the REXB running," Thomas said.
Molenaar said the REXB and REXL are set up for traveling between classes on campuses and that purpose alone.
School of Pharmacy graduate student Jonathan Cicci noted potholes popping up on campus due to the heavy storm season.
"The Allison [Road] parking lot in particular has potholes larger than my car," he said.
In reply, Molenaar directed Cicci to the DOTS Web site, where there is an e-mail address to send queries about lot maintenance.
"Anytime you see something, you should always send an e-mail to us," he said.