December 21, 2006

VUH construction to alter shuttle routes

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Shuttle service along Medical Center Drive is being altered due to the impending construction of VUH’s third bed tower.
Photo by Dana Johnson

VUH construction to alter shuttle routes

The planned start of construction next month on a third bed tower for Vanderbilt University Hospital will involve narrowing the street in front of the hospital and limiting it to one-way traffic for the duration of the project.

The change will impose limits to shuttle bus service to the street. Planned route changes will affect some 400 riders who use pickup points along the Green route on Medical Center Drive.

This shuttle route currently avoids 21st Avenue and its fierce rush hour traffic, but once construction starts, any buses serving Medical Center Drive will have to venture out onto 21st Avenue with every circuit they make, making them subject to traffic delays.

“We've developed proposed route alterations to serve our riders during construction, and we're inviting riders to look over these plans and contact us with any comments or suggestions they may have,” said Ken Browning, VUMC director of Plant Services.

The proposed solution involves abbreviating the Green Route by eliminating its Medical Center Drive pickup points — leaving in place the pickup points at South Garage, 25th Avenue Garage and the shuttle lots.

“Based on analysis of daily counts it is evident that about 50 percent of the riders on the Green Route travel from Medical Center Drive pickup points north of the Vanderbilt Clinic to the shuttle lots,” Browning said. “We are planning for that population to be served from the nearby Blue route pickup point at Eskind Library. We'll shift buses from the Green route to the Blue route to accommodate the switch.”

For mobility-challenged staff, service to the present Medical Center Drive pickup points will continue with a new route, the Black Route, running to the South Garage (where any riders headed to other parking locations can transfer to the Green Route). Other points regarding the planned changes:

• Distribution of shuttle bus capacity between the Green and Blue routes will be adjusted as necessary after the plan is implemented.

• Because the new Black route (only for mobility-challenged riders) will use 21st Avenue on the northbound leg, staff needing to use this route should talk to their managers about possible delays during the morning commute.

• The shuttle service will be adding a 25-passenger bus to the fleet.

Staff who have questions or suggestions about the plan are encouraged to relay them by e-mail to Gerald DeMarco, technical services supervisor, at