Greenville Tech exploring bus service between campuses

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The service would be similar to popular Tiger Commute, Tiger Connect service linking Greenville and Clemson.

 

During traditional morning and afternoon “rush hour” times in the morning and afternoon, it can sometimes be difficult to find a seat on the Greenlink commuter buses that run between CU-ICAR and the Clemson University campus.

“There are times when it’s standing room only,” said Grant Sparks, manager of transit planning for Greenville.

Last year, nearly 63,000 riders rode the Tiger Commute, which links CU-ICAR and the Clemson University campus, and Tiger Connector, a bus route serving CU-ICAR, Patewood, the University Center and Greenville ONE.

Greenville Technical College is looking at a similar bus service between its four campuses.

“We’re in the exploratory phase,” said Brett Gaffney, Greenville Tech Dean of Students. Gaffney said the school likely would try to partner with Greenlink in a similar arrangement. “Eventually, we’d like to have that type of service.”

Greenville Tech already has a small shuttle bus, and school officials are looking at providing bus service from the main Barton campus on Pleasantburg Drive to McAlister Square, a former mall about a mile away that houses the school’s admissions, testing, financial aid, advising and registration services, said Diane Thomas, advisor in the academic affairs office.

“We looked at bus service years ago,” she said. But that was before the increased traffic at the Barton campus and before student housing on campus.

Having bus service to the satellite campuses – Northwest in Berea, Benson in Greer and Brashier in Simpsonville – would allow students to get to specialty classes and programs more easily, as well as give them additional offerings of core classes from which to choose, Gaffney said.

“It’s all about providing access to our programs to more students,” she said.

School officials will conduct a feasibility study to see if students are interested in the service, Thomas said.

Greenlink began its Clemson service in 2013. Last year, the routes had 62,722 riders. Clemson students, faculty and staff may ride the bus for free with a school ID. Others may ride by paying a $1.50 fare.

The commuter bus runs Mondays through Fridays and has a scaled-back service on Saturdays. Some routes don’t run during the summer and holidays.

Rickards said connector ridership has gone down a bit, probably due to duplication of service near Verdae with Greenlink’s route 8 and the St. Francis connector. He said Greenlink is considering making changes in July to a circulator service in the Verdae area.

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