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East Residential route of Ohio State CABS buses overcrowded

An East Residential CABS bus on 17th Avenue. Some students have noticed buses have been overcrowded lately.<br />Credit: Logan Hickman / Lantern photographer

An East Residential CABS bus on 17th Avenue. Some students have noticed buses have been overcrowded lately.
Credit: Logan Hickman / Lantern photographer

The cold air has left some students scrambling for seats on Campus Area Bus Service buses heading down the East Residential route.

Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for OSU Administration and Planning, though, said multiple buses consistently run the route.

“We run four buses during the peak period of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and one bus during the rest of the service hours, providing a total of (53) service hours per day for the East Residential route,” Komlanc said in an email.

Buses run the ER route 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday during days of normal university operations.

Monthly CABS ridership typically increases by 15 percent in the peak months of January and February, Komlanc said.

The average temperature for January was 22.8 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Because of the cold weather, Komlanc said it is likely CABS ridership was higher in January this year.

The extreme temperatures have impacted students at OSU in other ways as well, with classes canceled at OSU’s main and branch campuses Jan. 6, 7 and 28 because of cold weather. Temperatures fell to minus 14 degrees Jan. 28 and as low as minus 7 Jan. 6 and 7.

Matt Dannemiller, a fourth-year in social work who typically uses the stop near Clinton and Summit streets when off-campus, said he has relied on the CABS ER bus service as his primary form of transportation to Central Campus for 2 1/2 years. Dannemiller said he has had to change bus stops this semester in order to find a place on the bus when leaving campus at about 4 p.m., the end of his school day.

“I have had to start getting on at Arps Hall because by the time it gets (to the next stop), it’s totally packed and you can only get on the stairs or not at all. The last time I got on at Arps, it was packed out and we had to pass people that were standing outside, not even able to get on,” Dannemiller said. “It seems like it is getting worse.

“I am glad that we have the bus service … But I think that there should be at least one bus added.”

CABS buses collectively serve more than four million riders each year, Komlanc said, and for fiscal year 2013, the ER route’s ridership was about 605,000.

Amy Kneepkens, a second-year in film studies, has been riding CABS buses for two years. She said the buses have felt more crowded recently.

“I never get to sit down,” Kneepkens said. “I’m always running into people.”

Dannemiller said the problem just seems to be escalating.

“I hear more and more people complaining about how packed it is,” he said.


  1. Thanks for writing about this. It’s a frustrating situation.

  2. The problem with the East Residential is that commuters that do not live in the East Residential area come here, park their cars, and get on the bus. I understand not wanting to pay for a parking pass, but the fact that I actually live in the neighborhood that this bus services and can’t get on the bus to get home because my street is now an OSU parking lot is totally uncool. Also, using these streets as a park ‘n’ ride is infuriating for the non-student residents that would like to park near their homes (yes, a lot of people live here that have nothing to do with the university). North of Lane=not campus. OSU needs to do something.

  3. The reason OSU people park east of High is because of the outrageous costs and terrible customer service of CampusParc. CampusParc makes the former OSU T&P look like a wonderful, easy to work with, parking system, which they were compared to this greedy, for-profit mess they have now.

    Just wait till OSUs Board of Trustees realizes how much they could supposedly save by selling off CABS! LAZ Parking (owners of CampusParc) have a partner company called First Transit. They specialize in privatized transit solutions. They would be the most likely contender for CABS. Once that happens, you can expect fewer buses, reduced service, and East Residential? Hah! Walk if you don’t want to pay to park on campus. ER would be the first route to be cut. The only thing you can do is make sure you let the university know how much the free bus service means to you as students, faculty, and staff. Whether you hate it or love it, it can always get far worse. And for proof, just look at CampusParc.

  4. CampusParc is not to blame. Prices go up no matter what. You don’t think T&P was also trying to profit? The city of Columbus needs to make the East of High area a permit zone. Unfortunately, there is a moratorium on new parking zones until September or so.

    Adding another bus would only encourage more riders. In time, it wouldn’t be much of a solution at all.

    I see a lot of bicycles. Perhaps that is a solution.

  5. This is news now??? I remember when I was a student living along the ER route from 2006-09 and it being stupidly over crowded then every time I rode, regardless of the weather. I am surprised that ANYONE can still ride a CABS bus regardless if they are a student or not.

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