SGA plans on-campus transit hub

Patrick Wagner | Photography Editor

The UNC Wilmington Student Government Association plans to build an on-campus transit hub at the Burney loop bus stop.

SGA President Zach Steffey said the university plans to mount two weather-proof LCD TVs to the patio area of the Fisher Student Union. One TV will relay bus location information in real-time and the other will display fixed Wave Transit bus routes. The TVs will be able to withstand rain, snow and hurricane-strength winds.

The initiative, labeled the Portico Project, is an attempt to provide a better transportation experience for off-campus students.

“It provides us for an opportunity to reach a lot of students we’ve struggled traditionally to reach,” Steffey said. “Specifically, the off-campus student and non-traditional students that use the UNCW Wave Transit system to come to the things we do on campus.”

Wave Transit will provide most of the funding for the TVs and the software used to track the busses in real-time. A $22,000 federal grant for transportation improvements is also being used to complete the transit hub.

SGA had to combat competition to receive the grant but the Portico Project “merited that funding,” according to Steffey.

Funding for benches for the new transit center passed Tuesday night.

“It has taken a lot of work to get to where we’re at now,” Steffey said. “Now it’s just getting that final push to make sure it all gets done.”

Steffey began working on the project in the summer and expects it to be completed by the end of this semester.

If the Portico Project is a success, the archway between Morton Hall and Luetze Hall could be the next location to receive an upgrade.

“Students will be able to rely on the buses more,” said Scott Evans, a UNCW student who lives off-campus. “It will definitely add to the campus.”

The UNCW mobile application, re-amped by SGA and released in January, also features the bus tracking system.

“I don’t know if everyone knows about the app,” said Campus Cove resident, Stephanie Rodriguez. “The TVs should help people plan better.”

Rodriguez relies on the real-time tracking on the app to anticipate the bus arrivals—giving him and other students the means to get to campus in a safer and more efficient way.