An Analysis of LSU’s Transportation System
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An Analysis of LSU’s Transportation System. Brian Marks GEOG 4077 This report has several facets, all concerning how LSU’s transportation system functions. Density of Students’ Residences Efficiency of LSU’s Bus System Possible Ways to Improve Public Transit to/from LSU

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An Analysis of LSU’s Transportation System

  • Brian Marks GEOG 4077

  • This report has several facets, all concerning how LSU’s transportation system functions.

  • Density of Students’ Residences

  • Efficiency of LSU’s Bus System

  • Possible Ways to Improve Public Transit to/from LSU

  • Student Accessibility to Groceries and Retailers by Public Transit

  • Grocery Proximity to Student Neighborhoods


Methodology

  • I used a copy of the LSU Student Directory to geocode 500 student mailing addresses.

  • I excluded on-campus addresses and non-Baton Rouge addresses to get only students who commute a moderate distance to campus, the ideal population to use public transportation.

  • This data should skew my results slightly away from campus, as many mailing addresses are parents’ homes, not students’ current residences.


  • I used this data to create a contour surface that indicates neighborhoods where many students live. I overlaid this data with the LSU bus system routes to determine if bus ridership reflected the system’s service population and if any large concentrations of students were not near bus service.

  • I also digitized the major retailers near LSU, their area in square feet, and through a series of maps showed how student access to large retail stores has changed in the past few years.

  • My conclusions were:

    • LSU’s bus system seems to be running at more or less equal efficiency throughout its service area. Ridership for any given route correlated well with student residence density.

    • With small exceptions, the LSU bus system reaches most of the large concentrations of nearby off-campus students.


  • Over the past few years, student access to large retailers near campus has decreased. Retailers are moving eastward away from campus. In addition there is poor public transit access to the new concentration of retailers on College Drive and poor pedestrian access to remaining nearby stores.

  • While many off-campus students live near campus in dense concentration, the remainder live more dispersed and farther away than LSU’s bus system could feasibly accommodate. For this reason, to improve public transit I have two recommendations:

    • Reduce the wait times for busses in the largest, closest student neighborhoods, such as State Street, Tigerland, Nicholson Drive, and Burbank / E Boyd.


2. Incorporate LSU’s bus system into the larger city-wide system and increase funding so that students living outside student neighborhoods can use the system efficiently .


Context of Research in Current Baton Rouge Transportation Policy

  • I believe my research shows that LSU’s bus system is running efficiently and should if anything be expanded and further integrated into the city’s overall public transit system.

  • Currently LSU is in the process of implementing its Campus Master Plan, which among other things seeks to eliminate the Capital Transportation Corporation (CTC)’s contract with LSU to run off- and on-campus bus services. LSU’s contract with the CTC is $1.85 million/year, more than the City/Parish invests in the system, at just over $1 million annually.


  • LSU’s Plan, other than being financially unworkable and inflexible in its emphasis on cars as a means of transportation (LSU has the highest number of parking spaces per capita of any American university, at .65 spaces per student), will financially cripple the CTC. Thus, it is at odds with the conclusions of my research, which show that greater regional integration of transit systems would allow for more efficient public transit in Baton Rouge. This integration is the opposite of LSU’s current policy, which is to further detach itself from the rest of Baton Rouge.


From the Baton Rouge Advocate, 3/19/03 inflexible in its emphasis on cars as a means of transportation (LSU has the highest number of parking spaces per capita of any American university, at .65 spaces per student), will financially cripple the CTC. Thus, it is at odds with the conclusions of my research, which show that greater regional integration of transit systems would allow for more efficient public transit in Baton Rouge. This integration is the opposite of LSU’s current policy, which is to further detach itself from the rest of Baton Rouge.

CTC (Capital Transportation Corporation) to seek funds, growth in services

…The agency may need the money soon. The reason is that LSU Director of Facility Development Bill Eskew said the university isn't in favor of continuing the contracted bus service that has become one of CTC's main financial pillars. CTC General Manager Debbie Moore said she believes LSU would be happy to have big-bus service that runs to eight planned parking garages on the fringe of the campus. She said the garages could be transfer points for CTC-operated shuttles to ferry students around campus. That plan would require lots of smaller shuttles, she said.

"What they don't realize is how many

students ride those big buses," Moore said.

"At times, we've got standing room only."

Graphics at Right and on Following Page from LSU Campus Master Plan show Elimination of Off-Campus Bus Routes


From Campus Master Plan Visit #8 Presentation, available online at:

http://masterplan.lsu.edu/pages/info/visit8p/index.htm


Read about the Master Plan online at: http://masterplan.lsu.edu/

Read my critique of it online at: www.lsulegacymag.com/master.htm


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