In response to the ongoing construction on and around campus, USC Transportation has made temporary changes to its tram and Campus Cruiser operations to minimize traffic delays and adverse effects on commuters.
According to Jeff Shields, associate director of operations for USC Transportation, Transportation has experienced some periodic disruptions because of traffic caused by construction — particularly the construction of the new Exposition Light Rail Transit Line.
Though the trams and Campus Cruisers are following their usual operational schedule, Transportation has made adjustments to its services because of detours and road closures.
“[The construction] has certainly required us to think outside of the box in order to accommodate our customer base, and I believe we have done a good job of communicating changes to the campus community,” Shields said.
Students who use the tram service to get around campus generally said the ongoing construction has not had any significant effect on their experiences.
“It hasn’t affected me because I take the A route and it doesn’t go to where the construction is being held,” said Jenny Paredes, a graduate student studying accounting. “The construction is over there on Exposition [Boulevard] so I don’t see why it would affect my route.”
Brittaney Robinson, a senior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention, said the natural variation in the tram’s arrival times makes it hard to tell if construction has caused any delays.
“I feel like it’s the same. The Track a Tram on the [transportation] website has helped a little, but you never know when it’s going to come,” Robinson said.
Students and faculty who take USC transportation from Union Station also noted the construction has had no discernible effect on their commute.
“I haven’t noticed any difference,” said Jefferey Sellers, an associate professor of political science who regularly rides the USC shuttle to work from Union Station.
Shields said he has received some complaints from commuters about the lack of updates about construction developments but pointed out that USC Transportation often does not have access to that information.
“Unfortunately, we don’t always receive the information ourselves, [but] we have taken a very proactive approach by attending meetings with the various contractors on campus as well as the Expo Line in order to improve in this area,” Shields said.
Timely communication with the public will be a priority while construction continues to minimize inconvenience for commuters, Shields said.
“We try and e-mail the campus community timely in an effort to notify them of any potential delays and changes to the traffic patterns on and around campus,” he said.