The creation of a direct campus line to Longwood Village seems like the perfect solution to student’s justified complaints. Village residents will greatly benefit from the proposed, new route because it will be less crowded and cut pickup and drop-off times in half. The current schedule is 35 minutes in between each bus to go the route around campus, Lancer Park, campus again, and then back to the Village. While 35 minutes does not seem very long, it is difficult to manage around Longwood’s class times. The new bus will greatly benefit the students living in Longwood Village because it will allow students to get to campus efficiently. Unfortunately, as with any solution, this will likely meet resistance from several different groups.
3:00-3:50 : (Last class on Fridays)
(Courtesy of Longwood University; This is an image of the FAB’s campus line schedule and a general list of Longwood’s class times for comparison. Upon comparison, the FAB schedule is inconsistent with class schedules that make getting to class on time difficult).
Many Lancer Park residents could resent this new campus line. In my proposal, I will likely plan to take away one of the buses to Lancer Park to give to the Village. Currently, Lancer Park has 3.5 buses to their disposal, while the Village only has the shared bus. Ideally, I would give the shared bus to the new campus line, leaving Lancer Park with three buses. The current system only has direct lines to Lancer Park until 1:45, and with the elimination of the shared line, at least one direct line to Lancer Park would have to be extended to midnight. I think there could be some resistance initially from Park residents that do not understand the benefits the Park is receiving indirectly. By taking away the shared bus, Park residents would also no longer have to deal with the overcrowding after 1:45 and these residents would also have consistently short intervals between buses because they too would only have a direct line all day.
Additionally, there may be a small resistance by Longwood Village and Lancer Park residents because there would be no shared bus. In the current system, Lancer Park residents could take a FAB all the way to Longwood Village, and vise versa. This allows students to visit friends easily and without using cars. In my dimensions of my proposal, I cannot properly address their concerns because I am proposing the elimination of that shared line. However, I would argue that the benefits of short intervals between buses, consistent times, and spaciousness outweigh this resistance. Moreover, students wishing to visit the different apartment communities would still have access. These students would take their direct line to campus and then take the direct line from campus to the applicable community.
The main concern is institutional resistance to the costs of a direct line to Longwood Village. I can likely see resistance mainly from the Budget Office and the university’s president. These two parties have a stronghold of control of what and how Longwood University spends their money. The cost to maintain two direct lines to each apartment community is relatively inexpensive in the bigger picture of running a university (each bus costs about 165,000 annually for gas and maintenance). Longwood University has this amount tenfold in their annual budget but the big resistance will come from convincing the Budget Office and President Reveley of how this is essential to the student body. These groups will likely resist because the university is currently undergoing a major construction project entitled, Vision 2020, and their attention and money is concentrated there. This is why it will be essential to prove how the university’s plans cannot go on without improving the FAB system. The plan calls for eliminating parking and additions to the aforementioned apartment communities and their goal will crash and burn without giving student’s a way to and from campus. If these parties are convinced of the need for a direct line to Longwood Village, in relation to their undergoing construction plans, then they will be more likely to appropriate the funds for improving the FAB.
The final resistance I anticipate is from the Farmville Area Bus management. I think their resistance comes from a reputation basis. The management and the university just redid the FAB’s campus route. Due to the new additions at Lancer Park, the FAB management and the university came up with the current “solution” of three direct lines to the Park and one shared bus between the Park and the Village. The additions to Lancer Park were just completed the summer of 2013 and with the time constraints, the FAB management made a solid effort to give students a workable transportation system. Their effort will not go unappreciated because its ridership almost doubled in a matter of months. This unprecedented change would have been hard to come up with a solution for, but the current solution the FAB management came up with should be considered more of a trial run. It is now clear what quirks occurred with their plan and how to solve them. In my proposal, I will attempt to take an appropriate tone to limit blame for the FAB management. Their plan was a good start, but my proposal will eliminate the kinks. They certainly earned some credit for giving my proposal a structural basis to work with.