Cooper Dining Hall bus stop scheduled to close
The Cooper Dining Hall bus stop on Douglass campus, also known as the “Cabaret Theater” stop, is scheduled to close after less than four months of operation.
The change will be implemented on Jan. 17 and will affect the “EE,” “F,” “REX L,” “REX B,” “Weekend 1” and “Weekend 2” bus routes.
The stop's location on George Street was put in place in September after the original Cabaret Theater bus stop on Nichol Avenue closed due to fire safety concerns.
A number of students expressed dismay on social media, including Kelly Donnelly, who said the safety of students living on Douglass campus could be jeopardized once the stop shuts down.
“Coming home from working a closing shift at the Douglass Café, I always used this stop,” the School of Arts and Sciences sophomore said. “I take the bus back mostly at night because of safety reasons, as well as the freezing cold temperatures. It's an inconvenience that they removed the bus stop completely because so many people use it. It's in the heart of Douglass campus."
Others are concerned the shut down could create inconveniences for students commuting between different campuses.
Ryan Lo, a Rutgers Business School first-year student, said the closure could lead to more crowded and idling buses during rush hours. With classes in Hickman Hall, Lo said the closest bus stops are the Cooper Dining Hall stop and the College Hall stop, both located on George Street.
“It’s logical to get off at Cabaret and walk across George Street rather than staying on the bus, as it loops all around Douglass campus,” he said. “When Cabaret is gone, the only stop available is College Hall."
Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m, when there is a high volume of traffic, Lo said buses are often crowded with students and other members of the New Brunswick community.
“The Cabaret bus stop is a major shortcut, especially during weekdays when buses operate in one direction around Douglass campus,” Lo said. “It’s unfortunate to see it close.”
The University’s decision to replace the original stop on Nichol Avenue was applauded by students in August, said Justin Wong, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
“When I found out about the new location, I thought it was a wonderful change for the people of Douglass,” Wong said. “(The University) got positive feedback, and students use the stop often, so what reason is there to remove it?”
Wong said he believed there was a lack of communication between the University’s transportation department and students.
Lo said inconsistencies exist within the Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services (RUDOTS) for the bus stop’s name. Rutgers' mobile application and the maps on the RUDOTS website continue to list the location as “Cabaret Theater."
“Even the buses’ announcement systems say ‘Cabaret Theater at Jameson,’ which is why I always knew it by that name,” Lo said.
The New Jersey Transit bus system used the bus stop on George Street before Rutgers buses started using it, according to RUDOTS. New Jersey Transit buses will continue stopping at this location.
Representatives from the Rutgers Department of Transportation Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Minna Kim is an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy first-year student. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.