Sydney University students have been caught by surprise after a popular campus bus stop was moved 80 metres down City Road.
The stop, previously located outside Hermann’s Bar, was moved as part of the Inner West Bus Improvement Program, a NSW Transport initiative.
It is now situated just under the City Rd footbridge, approximately 30 seconds’ walk towards Cleveland Street from its former location.
A spokesperson from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) told Honi Soit the stop had been moved to address “safety and traffic flow issues”.
“The [previous] bus stop’s location on a bend meant the longer ‘bendy buses’ could not stop parallel to the kerb, affecting safety for passengers and impacting traffic on City Road,” they said.
The spokesperson added that the new stop is safer for passengers as it is situated on a wider part of the footpath.
Exchange student Angharad Maggs from the University of Miami was waiting patiently at the Hermann’s bus stop when she found herself caught in the middle of the relocation. She told her story to Honi Soit.
“We had all been waiting, and I think everyone’s bus was late,” she said. “There was a huge crowd of us and then these guys came up and were like ‘We’re moving the bus stop, you guys have to move about 80 metres down.’ Everyone was just really confused.”
Regular bus riders have expressed a range of opinions over the move. Kate, a second-year psychology student, had only just realised the stop had been relocated when she spoke to Honi.
“I think it kind of makes sense… Lots of times the bus drivers haven’t let me on when they’re waiting anywhere near the bus stop or for the lights to change. So maybe they’ve moved it to stop people doing that, knocking on the door,” she said.
“It is a bit further away, but I guess it’s not as far as I thought, so that’s okay.”
Second-year political, economic and social sciences student Josh usually rides his bike to university. However, he occasionally catches the bus in inclement weather
“I don’t mind the extra 80 metre walk, it’s making up for the exercise I miss out on by catching the bus,” he said.
However, both Josh and Kate expressed disappointment at the minimalist ‘pole-only’ design of the new stop.
Josh was concerned about the loss of the “broadsheet-style timetable”, saying “the new [smaller] one might be hard to read for people who can’t see very well.”
Kate pointed out the lack of shelter at the new stop, labelling it “the only downside” of the abrupt move.
Students have clustered under the high City Road footbridge during the recent rain, but the structure has proved an ineffective shield from the elements. However, the RMS said the problem could soon be fixed.
“[We are] liaising with City of Sydney Council about providing two bus shelters at the new stop,” a spokesperson said.
Other students were dissatisfied with the location of the new stop, harbouring a preference for the former location which was adjacent to the traffic lights across to Eastern Avenue.
Third-year Arts student Sayumi noticed the move after she waited at the old stop for 20 minutes, only to see her bus drive past. She thinks the relocation is unnecessary.
“I’ve got friends who argue it’s good for not having to wait at the lights, but I don’t think it makes a difference,” she said. “It’s a bit annoying, if you want to run for the bus, you won’t make it because you have to run over a bridge.”
Arts student Tom Gardner shares Sayumi’s concerns. He said it makes little sense to change the location of the most popular stop, rather than the less-used ones nearby.
“Its exact location is more important than other stops,” he said. “Stopping somewhere on King Street doesn’t really matter because you just need the general location, but almost everyone who uses this stop uses it to get to uni.”