Student Survey Brings Bus Route Changes

Hannah Lundquist-

Living in a town as small as Menomonie, there is usually little need for public transport. This is not the case for most of the residents living on North Campus, who use the Stout Route bus daily.

In 2015 alone there were 124,897 Stout students who rode the bus, along with 10,136 elderly or disabled riders, and 2,429 riders who were uncategorized. This makes for a grand total of 137,462 riders. As shown by the statistics, the vast majority of riders are students who live on North Campus or frequently visit North Campus. Because they form the majority, a survey was recently sent out to UW–Stout students to collect their opinions on the current bus route, and what (if any) changes they would like to see in the public transportation system.

The bus service has seven busses in their service, and of those, four are used on a daily basis and two are reserved for Stout students. Kent Conklin, who is in charge of Dunn County Transit, said they are hoping to add larger busses to the Stout route and pick up more stops. The request for more stops came from the students surveyed as well.

Students board the Stout bus to get where they need to go.
Students board the Stout bus to get where they need to go.

There are no plans to get rid of the busses; instead the transit department hopes to improve upon what they have. Jasmine Thompson, who lives on North Campus in Red Cedar, says she would be upset if the bus service was gone.

Currently the Stout route bus makes three stops: the clock tower, the library and Red Cedar Hall. Stout students would like to see the Stout route bus make off-campus stops in addition to their current stops. The community bus makes twenty-one stops, six of which are on-campus locations.

The Stout students have spoken and the Dunn County Transit is listening. The changes will likely be seen in the following years.