When I first heard about the CapMetro Remap, I was very skeptical. As an East Riverside resident, I was particularly alarmed to hear about the elimination of the 100 Route, which I frequently used for service to the airport and fast service into downtown or campus. However, since the Remap took place in June, I have been pleasantly surprised. Despite the loss of the 100 Route, the new 20 Route has improved in its place for several reasons, including better efficiency and more convenient stop locations.
First of all, the new 20 Route does not travel down Wickersham, Oltorf and Pleasant Valley anymore. I called this part of the 20 Route “the circle detour.” Before the Remap, the 20 Route would go down Riverside and then take a detour down these streets, which added about seven extra stops on the route. At one point, I timed the “circle detour” which was the time the bus exited Riverside to go down Wickersham, Oltorf and Pleasant Valley from the time the bus returned to Riverside. Every time I timed it, it took roughly 10 minutes. Needless to say, the extra 10 minutes — each way — for stops I never frequented was a bit frustrating. Now, however, the route goes straight down Riverside, without making this 10-minute circle detour, saving me a great deal of time on my trips. Before the Remap, the 100 Route skipped this detour, making it much more efficient and appealing. But now that the new 20 Route has done away with the circle detour, it is just as efficient as the 100 and a big time-saver for me.
On top of that, the new 20 Route has stops located in more convenient parts of campus. Normally, I use the UT bus when traveling from Riverside to campus during the weekdays. However, I take the 20 Route when I go to campus on Saturdays, Sundays or during the weeks between holiday breaks when the UT bus temporarily stops running. Before the Remap, the 20 Route had several on-campus stops, some by the Social Work building, the Royal Stadium and the law school building. But now, the bus travels through West Campus and Dean Keeton instead. The previous stops were not bad, but the stops on West Campus and Dean Keeton are much closer to the University Co-Op, restaurants on Guadalupe and other bus stops for connections to high-speed routes, like the 801 and 803.
Ultimately, the route has improved significantly since the rerouting, which has saved me a great deal of time during my commute. And by adding more convenient locations for stops, I get across campus easier as well. Despite my initial hesitation, I will admit that so far, I have been pleased with the Remap.
Broderick is a History Ph.D. student.