Winning name, more details emerge on new campus bus system

bus name winner sAnita Clemon, director of compliance for Human Relations (right), was the winner of an iPad Mini in a random drawing among the 55 people who submitted “Blazer Express” to the bus-naming contest. Get ready to catch a ride on the Blazer Express.

That’s the name selected for UAB’s transit system from almost 2,000 names submitted in a “Name the Bus” contest held by Parking & Transportation Services. Blazer Express will make its debut in January 2014.

“We had a tremendous display of creativity from the entire UAB community,” says Christopher Clifford, associate vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services. “Blazer Express rose to the top because it best captures the true mission of the new transit system — moving Blazers quickly and easily around UAB.”

“This will be a state-of-the-art, high-tech transportation service and will enhance the campus experience for our customers and help ease parking challenges,” Clifford says.

Routes have been chosen for the system, and the fleet of 12 buses is being constructed now, says André Davis, director of Parking & Transportation Services.

“The fabrication of the equipment typically takes eight to 10 months, and we signed the contract in early May,” Davis says. “The buses are custom-made to our specifications.”

New buses for remote parkers July 8

UAB will introduce a temporary bus fleet on July 8 to serve the hospital remote-shuttle route until new buses arrive in January. Employees who ride Birmingham’s MAX buses from UAB Remote Parking lots Nos. 1 and 2 will have new buses on the route identified as “UAB Remote Parking Shuttle.”

These buses will transport employees into the medical center, using current drop-off and pick-up locations.

bus smallMore details

Blazer Express will be a 24-hour weekday operation, and most points on campus are no more than a five-minute walk from a stop. Additionally, Blazer Express riders can use GPS technology to locate buses in real time on their smartphones and desktop computers. TV monitors also will be installed in high-traffic areas around campus to show the location and movement of buses.

A detailed map of the routes and bus stop locations is now available.

Each bus will be handicap-accessible, seat 30 to 35 riders and accommodate 12 to 15 standing passengers. Collectively, the fleet will be able to transport as many as 200 people at one time, substantially more than the 30 people that six Campus Ride vans can seat.

More information on the design of the buses and the look and feel of their interior will be made available in the coming weeks.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved the Blazer Express bus system at its April meeting to replace the Campus Ride/Escort services, which the university has outgrown.