Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District is slated to increase the frequency of bus line 28 by adding another bus to line 28, known as the UCSB Shuttle, which travels from Camino Real Marketplace through El Colegio Road to campus.
The change comes as part of a series of adjustments to the bus routes in Santa Barbara and Goleta to improve the timing and efficiency of routes. The line 28 adjustments were drafted by Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (SBMTD) and UC Santa Barbara and are scheduled to come into effect on Aug. 19.
Adding another bus to line 28 will allow buses to pass by every 10 minutes instead of the current 15-minute intervals, according to Hillary Blackerby, interim planning and marketing manager for SBMTD.
Line 28 was established in August 2016 as part of UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). The plan details campus development up to 2025 through changes in programs, transportation and housing.
UCSB funds the operation of the shuttle. The quarterly lock-in student fee of $13.13 is based on enrollment in UCSB and allows students to ride the bus for free.
Blackerby approached the Isla Vista Community Services District (I.V. CSD) at its April 23 meeting as part of SBMTD’s annual April outreach to inform the board of the proposed bus route changes.
Blackerby noted buses are often filled to capacity along El Colegio Road due to the high amount of students headed toward campus. Many of these students are what she describes as “line-neutral.”
“You don’t care which [bus] you get on because you know whichever one you get on, it’s going to wind up at campus,” Blackerby said.
“When people are really just trying to get to campus, they’re filling up lines that have destinations past campus, like downtown.”
Buses headed toward campus are filled to capacity and exclude people farther down El Colegio as a consequence.
The 60-foot segmented buses with a standing load of 110 people were originally purchased for line 15x, but instead became used for line 28 due to higher demand. Even now, these buses are still reaching capacity and leaving people behind, according to Blackerby.
She hopes the additional line 28 bus will relieve the overcrowding problems on other El Colegio buses, such as lines 7, 11 and 24x.
A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the May 2, 2019 print edition of the Daily Nexus.