University of North Florida Shuttle Buses
Below I outline the types of buses used, both before and after the switch from Academy to Echo Transportation, as well as an issue with what buses are assigned to what routes here on campus. The latter part I tried to write so it makes sense and is coherent, but is opinionated on how it should be ran.
The Old Buses
Right: Bus 2312 with the Academy Livery
The New Buses
Below is the rundown of the fleet, with a photo illustrating each type of vehicle used:
Now, I think Echo Transportation has a contract to run shuttles someplace else in Jacksonville because of the numbering system they used.
The currently operated buses are a fleet of Ford cutaway buses and a few ElDorados. They all feature destination signs, bike racks*, wifi, and automated stop announcements.
|This is from when the buses first arrived and didn't have any decals. This bus has since received the same decals as the 5300s, as well as a destination sign.|
|Bus 5306 with the decals. Note, this was before the bike racks were installed.|
|This is 302 when it first arrived, it has since received the add-ons noted above.|
The Osprey Connector consists of two routes, the Campus Route, the Town Center Shuttle, as well as two special routes: the Paratransit service, and Campus Tours.
- The Campus Route runs from Lot 53 and The Flats Apartments at the south end of the campus into the main campus area and out the north end to Lot 18. This is the main route operating Mon-Fri 7am-3:30am, and Sundays 6pm-3:30am.
- The Town Center Shuttle runs from the UNF Library to the Town Center Shopping Mall just off campus, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Fri-Sun 11am-3pm.
- The Paratransit service runs from the closest pickup point to the closest drop off point for disabled students and faculty (both permanently and temporarily disabled).
- The Campus Tours run from the Visitor's Center to one of the dorm buildings where the tour then walks the campus. The bus then picks the tour back up on the other end, near the Wellness Center where the tour then rides the bus back to the Visitor's Center.
The Town Center Shuttle only has a little over 100 riders per week, it usually has a 5300 assigned which is fine, but occasionally it'll have a 300 assigned. Every time I see a bus on that route, it is usually empty or almost empty. A full on transit bus (such as the 300s) definitely is not needed here.
Occasionally I'll see a 300 running on the campus tour, which is fine because some tour groups are larger.
So basically, long story short, what I'd like to see is at least one of the 300s used daily on the Campus Route to ease the load issue, ideally all the buses would be transit buses but the company bought cutaways.