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Changes to CSO van service planned to address student concerns


This post was updated on Jan. 25 at 1:10 p.m.

Students will soon be able to request to be picked up from various parts of campus through a new mobile app.

UCLA Transportation and undergraduate  and graduate student government leaders are moving forward with plans to rework the Community Service Officer Evening Van Service. UCLA Transportation plans to offer a demo mobile application through which students can request pick-ups and track van locations by spring quarter, said Xander Barbar, Undergraduate Students Association Council Facilities Commission chief of staff.

USAC and GSA representatives met with campus officials Thursday to discuss purchasing a TapRide, a third-party mobile application service that can use students’ MyUCLA login to request pick-ups.

The CSO Evening Van Service will also add signs at its three campus stops and introduce five 11-passenger vehicles to accommodate heavy passenger volume. University of California Police Department, UCLA Transportation and USAC will fund the project, but do not yet know how much it will cost or how the money will be distributed, Barbar said.

USAC, GSA and UCLA Transportation also plan to extend the service’s operating hours to 7 p.m. to midnight, said Sandra Rhee, USAC facilities commissioner. The CSO evening service currently runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

User data from the demo app will help student leaders make improvements to the service once it is fully implemented, he added.

USAC conducted a series of online surveys last quarter to evaluate students’ opinions of the current van service.

Zahra Hajee, director of safety for the USAC Facilities Commission, presented the student testimonials about the service to UCPD and UCLA Transportation in November.

About 73 percent of respondents said the waiting times were too long and were often unsure when vans would arrive. Vans are expected to arrive at each stop every 15 to 20 minutes. According to one testimonial, a student on crutches waited more than 40 minutes for a van to arrive.

Students also said they were concerned about the unmarked van stops, limited service hours and lack of space for passengers in each van. Some students said they think the service should be better organized and offer more space for students to reduce waiting times.

USAC, GSA, UCPD and UCLA Transportation representatives will meet again in February to define the details of the project.

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