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TAMU's Current Transportation Problem
Not Enough Parking Spaces for Students
The spring 2015 Enrollment Profile shows that the College Station campus currently has a 52,372 students enrolled on TAMU's campus. Parking facts from http://transport.tamu.edu shows that there are only 55 lots and 5 garages allotted for student parking. That is a total of 21,928 spaces available for student purchase. That's not even enough for half of the students to purchase a spot. - Courtney Powell
Parking Passes are Pricey and Hard to Come By
TAMU's Buses are Always Overcrowded
TAMU's current bus system offers nine off campus routes, and seven on campus routes that run every 6-7 minutes according to http://transport.tamu.edu/BusRoutes. But is sixteen routes enough for over 52,000 students? As a former student I have personally stood outside of a bus stop an hour prior to my class and had not one but three buses pass by flashing the message "another bus follows" because it was already filled to capacity. This problem causes many students every day to be late to their classes. - Courtney Powell
Another cause is that buses can only 35-40 people ("Transit Facts and Figures"). If you're lucky enough to get on a bus, you'll most likely be standing and most bus drivers try to fill up the bus as much as possible. This can sometimes leads to people standing in front of the yellow safety line at the front of the bus. The safety issue with that is just one reason a different form of transportation needs to be looked at.-Kerrick
Buses Can Also be Delayed by Traffic and Accidents
Written in Katie White's article, the buses have to deal with a lot of things that can make the buses get off schedule. This can be something as simple as getting unlucky with the stop lights (White). It can be seen that the bus system is trying it's best but we need to find a better choice for A&M's transportation. - Kerrick
The Causes of Texas A&M's Transportation Problem
Texas A&M is one of the top-5 largest campuses in the nation, and that’s definitely something to be proud of. However, the size of the university has led to vast amounts of overpopulation taking place on campus as well as in the surrounding city of College Station. This overcrowding at Texas A&M University is a huge problem and something must be done in order to lessen its impact. The main causes of this issue are that Texas A&M is a large university, it doesn’t have enough room to accommodate its population, and the A&M leadership intends to make it even larger.
Firstly, A&M is enormous. According to an Education Rankings & Advice study conducted by US News & World Report, A&M’s campus encompasses about 5,200 acres. Comparatively, that’s much larger than many other US campuses and that school in Austin’s campus is only 434 acres. To put that into perspective, we could fit almost 12 t.u. campuses within ours! As I stated earlier, Texas A&M has a high enrollment of students. This can be seen in the spring 2015 Enrollment Profile collected by data and research services, which states that the College Station campus has a population of 52,372 students. Not only is this enrollment top-5 in the nation but it is the largest in Texas by quite a wide margin. Everything truly is bigger in Texas (A&M).
Despite the great size of Texas A&M, it cannot house the student body as the on-campus housing is insufficient. In the “Student Life” section of the same US News & World Report study that was previously referenced, it is revealed that only 24% of students live in on-campus housing at Texas A&M. Doing the math, we see that the university can only accommodate about 12,000 of its more than 52,000 student body, and the vast majority of students are forced to find an alternative housing option. A&M realizes that this is an issue, as they built the White Creek apartment complex on west campus, but that has only barely made a dent in the numbers. More must be done if the university intends to keep additional students on campus.
Clearly the campus cannot handle the current enrollment but those in power intend to expand the university even more. Specifically, the college of engineering is carrying out the 25 by 25 initiative. According to the facts & figures page of the official Dwight Look College of Engineering website, there are currently over 15,000 enrolled engineering students. The college of engineering is already the largest at Texas A&M, but university officials want to make it even bigger. The 25 by 25 Initiative page of the same engineering website reveals that the Dwight Look College plans to bring enrollment to 25,000 students by 2025. This plan would add about 10,000 students to an already huge and overcrowded university that will require the building of even more facilities and hiring even more faculty. To make matters worse, all of this change is anticipated to occur in the next 10 years, so the population issue is only going to grow more rapidly. A solution must be found, and we believe that we can help. -Zach
The solution in the elevated monorail
Cost of the monorail vs cost of buses
The other cost is paid by the students. There's a price to pay when the buses or parking make students late to class or potentially miss class. It's costing them an education and maybe even their desire to actually try to make it to class. The true value of the monorail system will be making one less thing that students have to worry about in all the stress and worry of school. Also, being known for having the best and newest form of transit for a college campus that works for the students is a great reputation boost. -Kerrick
"How Much Does Monorail Cost?" How Much Does Monorail Cost? N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
Kuwabara, Takeo, Motomi Hiraishi, Kenjiro Goda, Seiichi Okamoto, Akira Ito, and Yoichi Sugita. "New Solution for Urban Traffic: Small-Type Monorail System." New Solution for Urban Traffic: Small-Type Monorail System. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
"Transit Facts and Figures." Transit Facts and Figures. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
White, Katie. "What Do You Do for Me? Transportation Services." What Do You Do for Me? Transportation Services. N.p., 26 Oct. 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.