The official launch of Flight, Temple’s newly-reformed bus service, gave some students a new way to get around on campus on Monday, but some weren’t so lucky.
Freshman Macey Saphore says she waited half an hour for a bus that never came. She was forced to walk to Peabody from 10th and Diamond in the wee hours of the morning. “I didn’t want to walk because it was four in the morning and that’s unsafe,” she said. “I was scared.”
“[Flight] is generally well accepted, but like any new service, it can be fine tuned,” said Superintendent of Service Operations, Mark Gottlieb.
Gottlieb identified the surge in requests as the reason why wait times are so high. Before the introduction of Flight, Temple provided around 2,000 rides per week to students. This week, however, there were over 4,000.
Gottlieb says Facilities Management is continuing to improve drivers’ training, in order to ensure that they fully understand “Tap Ride” and can make the service more efficient. “I think that with any new process or technique, ongoing training has to be part of the operation. We’ll have to see how we define that ongoing training,” he said.
Temple Student Government President Ryan Rinaldi says that the service would not work well for students if they don’t have a firm understanding of the app. Rinaldi said that TSG is working with the University to make Flight more efficient.
After hearing about the Saphore’s experience, I decided to test Flight out for myself. I requested a bus to pick me up at Morgan Hall and to drop me off on the corner of Montgomery and Bouvier. My original wait time of two minutes turned into an hour and fifteen minutes.
While I waited, eleven Flight busses drove past and refused to pick me up. My full Flight experience can be found here next week.