Late, Overcrowded Shuttles Reported at UNT vs. SMU Game

Late, Overcrowded Shuttles Reported at UNT vs. SMU Game

Late, Overcrowded Shuttles Reported at UNT vs. SMU Game
September 11
12:42 2018

Those who utilized the Mean Green Game Day shuttle to attend UNT’s first football game of the season reported late, overcrowded shuttles. The Mean Green Game Day shuttle, which has been in use for five years, takes passengers from downtown Denton to the pedestrian bridge across from Apogee Stadium.

However, on game day there were few shuttle buses running and the ones available were completely full, said Amy Fair, a 32-year-old who works in marketing and used the Mean Green Game Day shuttle to attend the UNT vs. SMU games in 2016 and this year.

“We had a really good experience with the shuttle in the past and were expecting the same this time around,” Fair said.

But Fair said her shuttle experience this year was the complete opposite. Fair said she waited at the Mellow Mushroom stop, the same as she did two years ago. However, this year she waited for an hour and 20 minutes at the stop, which had a sign posted reading ‘first stop.’

“But come to find out, every stop had a sign on it that said, ‘first stop,’ so that was a little confusing,” Fair said. “During that hour and 20 minutes that we were waiting, only two shuttles came by our stop, neither one of them stopped because both of them were full. So even in that amount of time we were waiting, we only saw two of the shuttles.”

Fair said by 6:10 p.m. she, her husband and a couple friends had debated different options to try and get to the game from getting an Uber, waiting it out or trying to drive and find parking. But eventually they decided to go to the East Side Denton Bar to watch the game.

“We didn’t even make it to the game,” Fair said. “We had to watch it on TV.”

Haven, a graduate student in the department of behavior in the College of Health and Public Service who requested only her first name be used, said she has used the shuttles before and they were great. But when she used them Saturday, her experience was the complete opposite.

“The only air conditioning on the bus was the bus driver’s small personal vents,” Haven said. “The bus filled up entirely at [the stop by Cool Beans on Fry,] so that the majority of the people on the bus were standing up and there was no more room for more passengers.”

Despite the bus being full, the bus driver told passengers he was required to finish the route, which led to the bus getting stuck in traffic on Bonnie Brae and I-35, Haven said.

“At that point we were all so hot and worried about missing the game,” Haven said. “It was 6:10, so we asked the bus driver to let us out in the middle of Bonnie Brae stop-and-go so that we could walk the rest of the way. He did so and that was it.”

The Denton Convention and Visitor Bureau, which in partnership with UNT Transportation, DCTA and the Jagoe-Public Company provides the Mean Green Game Day shuttles, released a statement on Friday about the shuttle experience.

“What happened last Saturday was unprecedented,” the statement read. “First, the game attendance was the largest in school history. It was a fantastic turnout, but with a slight hiccup in that the shuttles were full, and due to unannounced road closures, the buses were stuck in game day traffic. We are saddened to hear that for many of you, it wasn’t the smooth ride you have come to expect. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused our riders.”

The statement outlined new changes to the shuttles that include a dedicated shuttle stop from the Lucky Lou’s Fry Street stop directly to Apogee and back, extra bus support for the downtown Denton routes, DCTA personnel on hand at shuttle stops to provide extra assistance to fans and additional bus support post-game for fans leaving Apogee.

“We appreciated everyone who took the time to share their experience with us,” the statement read. “It helps so much in crafting a better game day experience for everyone. Should you have any further feedback, DCTA’s GoRequest app is a perfect outlet for fans to comment on the bus operations.”

Fair said despite missing the game due to the shuttles, her perception of UNT hasn’t changed and she is still a fan.

“We understand that mistakes happen so we’re really appreciative that they are working hard to make it right,” Fair said.

Fair later told the Daily that she had been in contact with the UNT athletics department, who offered them tickets to a future game.

Featured Image: Issues with the Game Day Shuttle were reported after UNT’s first game of the season which had the largest turnout in school history. Emilia Capuchino

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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1 Comment

  1. JD
    JD September 12, 09:05

    Folks, it is only going to get more difficult as we become more and more successful. Plan ahead and be prepared to make adjustments. I arrived at 5:15pm without any issues, parked, walked across the bridge and into the stadium without any issues. Did the same post game. Waiting on a shuttle for 80 minutes and then giving up and going to watch the game on television tells me they didn’t really want to see the game in person.

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