Gannon University and Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority officials are discussing possible changes to the Knight Rider.
Angela Coustillac, a graduate assistant for Student Development and Engagement, and Kathleen Gausman, associate vice president for Student Development and Engagement, led a meeting with EMTA on Sept. 13.
During the meeting, a new route, ways of tracking and maps were discussed.
Maps of the service areas will be put together to highlight specific areas and times of the buses.
Several student surveys were put out on behalf of issues with the Knight Rider, but a lot of it included just talking with students who had comments, as well as with the bus driver.
“Students would tweet that they couldn’t find the Knight Rider,” Coustillac said. “Mainly during the colder months when it was snowing.”
Penn State Behrend’s students did a senior project focused on using radio waves to track their campus bus.
Changes have not been made yet, but will be in effect spring semester.
Gannon student’s ridership numbers are viewed from month-to-month and are compared with other universities.
“Our ridership numbers were pretty low,” Coustillac said. “Especially compared to the other univerisities.
“From those results, we knew we had to do something.”
Jessica Graham, a junior occupational therapy major, said using the public bus, such as the “E”, was never really appealing to her.
“Since most of my classes are in Morosky, I usually take the Knight Rider when it’s cold or rainy,” Graham said. “But it was usually never around campus.”
The ‘E’ is working on a new bus route for next semester that will increase Gannon’s ridership, said Max Easly, an EMTA intern.
The EMTA is the transit authority that operates public transportation in Erie and allows Gannon students to ride for free – the ‘E’ being one of them.
Pamphlets have been made to educate students on riding the bus, along with the schedule of all the different buses.
“I’m working with Landis Erwin, EMTA marketing manager, with everything she needs, as well as promoting the ‘E’ to students,” Easly, a junior marketing major, said.
The second goal for the changes in transportation is to maintain ridership through this change and eventually increase it, and the EMTA is accommodating, Coustillac said.