The New Super Loop: Going the Extra Mile   Leave a comment


Dear UCSD Super Loop (201/202) Riders,

Some changes have come with your new purple sticker. As you know, the 201/202 start at UTC, go to Gilman and Meyers in front of school, and back to UTC. The route has been lengthened by 1.0 miles while 2 stops and 5 turns have been added, resulting in about 5.2 minutes of additional travel time to the reported round trip average of 26 minutes. None of the the numbers provided in the previous sentence have made it into any of the official literature regarding the changes to the bus routes.

Here’s what the Super Loop route looked like in the ’09-10 academic year.

5.4 miles, 9 stops. Route 201: 27 min, Route 202: 25 min (According to MTS).
15 min driving by car (according to Google Maps).

This is the new Super Loop route for the ’10-’11 academic year. Notice the Nobel detour through Regents/Arriba/Palmilla/Lebon at the bottom, adding 2 stops.

6.4 miles, 11 stops. Route 201: 25 min, Route 202: 27 min (According to MTS).
18 min driving by car (according to Google Maps).

With the help of Google Maps, I’ve discovered that detouring from Nobel Dr through Regents Rd and back via Lebon Dr adds a full mile to the trip, and if driving by car, adding 3 minutes as well. If the old Super Loop averaged 26 minutes by bus, 15 minutes by car, it takes 1.73 times as long to travel by bus than by car. Applying that ratio to the new detour, about 5.2 minutes have been added to the Super Loop.

Take a look at what’s been added to the Super Loop–

The expanded route of the Super Loop, courtesy of Google Maps. 1.0 miles and 3 mins (driving by car) have been added.

Here’s the funny thing. The ’09-’10 Super Loop, which was 1 mile and five turns shorter than the ’10-’11 version, averaged 26 minutes round trip, according to MTS literature. The ’10-’11 Super Loop, with its added mile, two additional stops, and five extra turns…still averages 26 minutes according to MTS literature. I can’t imagine that’s accurate.

By my calculations, adding 5.2 minutes per route to account for the extra mile, the 201 should take about 30.2 minutes and the 202 should take 32.2 minutes. So your bus may be taking 5.2 more minutes to pick you  up than it did last year. In addition, since two extra stops (18% more) have been added, you can expect buses to be about 18% more crowded. I’ve discovered no reason to believe the fleet has been increased and have personally experienced longer waits and more crowded buses this year, and hope to have explained why.

To review the changes undertaken by the Super Loop this academic year:
+1 mile
+2 stops
+5 turns
+5.2 minutes/round trip
+18% more passengers
+0 additional vehicles

It means get to the bus stop earlier and expect a larger crowd and longer trip. At least that torrential air conditioning will keep you cool if the heat sticks around.

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Posted September 28, 2010 by Wada in UCSD, UCSD parking, UCSD transportation

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