Students started a petition to have the removed route 831 bus stop outside of UVU’s Wee Care Center reinstated into the new Utah Valley Express bus line.
Anna Wilson, a junior design major, and her husband, Lazlo Van Wilson, a sophomore accounting major, take their four-year-old son to the center before classes.
The changing of the route for bus 831 changed their walk from two minutes to nearly 15 minutes.
“We have to walk a half mile to get here [Wee Care Center], which wouldn’t be so bad if the air quality wasn’t so terrible. Our son is still coughing at night,” said Anna.
After attempting to reach a resolution over the loss of the bus stop with a Utah Transit Authority official, Anna Wilson and Lazlo Van Wilson, were dismissed and told the walk would make their son travel “hearty.” This was said despite the Wilson’s attempts at raising concerns over poor air quality and the dangerous walk routes to the Wee Care Center from the UVX bus stop.
“Our son loves to ride public transportation, but the infrastructure makes it unsafe for a young child. We try to stick to the sidewalks as much as possible, but often we find that the parking lot [route] is safer than the sidewalk,” said Lazlo.
The dismissal from the UTA director prompted the students to create a petition to have the already existing bus stop reinstated back into route 831 or have alterations done to the UVX route to include the stop.
After hearing about the petition, Stephanie Albach, administrative support in UVU’s Public Relations Department, reached out to Wee Care Center director to handle the dispute over the bus stop. Attempts to contact Albach for more information was made by the Wilson’s on Friday Sept. 28 who have yet to have their call returned.
The Wilson family and others have to walk a half mile to the center while enduring dangerous air index levels — levels so poor that UVU issued a mass email to students and faculty warning of the poor air quality, and offering masks for anyone in need.
“The mask worked, but it wasn’t a great solution. He was still coughing,” says Lazlo.
The walk for the Wilson family forces them to choose between walking through parking lots to get to the center or walking dangerous streets without access to sidewalks due to ongoing construction and the lack of crosswalks.
The Wilson family own a car but choose to use public transportation for environmental purposes.
“The main reason we use public transportation isn’t the cost, it’s the principle. In the end, who cares why we use it, we need better public transportation for everyone who’s going to be a part of this community,” said Lazlo
Photo courtesy of Vince Vides.