Marguerite lines to undergo major changes

Feb. 23, 2011, 2:07 a.m.

Beginning March 1, the Stanford Marguerite shuttle system will undergo extensive changes intended to improve efficiency for its riders, make better use of its budget and decrease its environmental impact. Every line, except the Ardenwood Express and Menlo Park routes, will have adjusted times, stops or routes.

The changes developed in response to a series of surveys sent last fall, said Brodie Hamilton, director of Parking and Transportation Services (PT&S).

“We started off with the idea that maybe there’s a better way to run the routes, so there aren’t as many duplications,” Hamilton said.

He cited the multiple routes that cater to the Palo Alto train station as an example of inefficient duplications.

“Based on two rounds of review by the campus community, we came up with what we’re planning to implement, which will create system efficiency and an associated reduction in vehicle emissions and operating and maintenance costs,” Hamilton said.

In perhaps the most drastic revision, Line A will disappear. Line B, to be renamed Line X traveling counter-clockwise and Line Y traveling clockwise, will replace Line A on the west side of campus. A new C Line will cover the current Line A’s east campus stops.

The VA hospital line, to be renamed Line V, will cover the current C Line service to the California Avenue Caltrain Station. The SLAC line will take over the C Line route to Searsville Road and Oak Road.

The Midnight Express, which currently travels in only one direction, will become the counter-clockwise Line N and clockwise Line O.

Hamilton stressed that though the changes seem substantial, a typical rider’s route will not change significantly. It may, in some cases, become even more efficient.

“The changes that are being implemented will still allow people to get to the same places that they got before,” he said. “The route may have a different name, or in some cases they may need to make one transfer.”

Hamilton said this is the first major review and overhaul of the shuttle system to be enacted in his 10 years at Stanford.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new system, PT&S also revamped its website. One feature allows Marguerite riders to find the new line that will best correspond to the route they currently take.

PT&S will also host five presentations and question-and-answer sessions about the new system this week. It plans to send out an electronic update to the Stanford community as March 1 approaches and encourages commuters to call if they have questions. PT&S will provide maps and schedules at all Marguerite stops, rather than just 20 of the stops, once it transitions to the new system.

“We went into this saying, ‘is there a smarter way to do this, from a budget, environmental, traffic standpoint?” Hamilton said. “And I think we’ve come up with that smarter way that’s going to have less impact through emissions and cost less as well.”

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