Shuttle Bus Services on Campus

Cindy Rios, Staff Writer

The idea of providing a shuttle bus service for students to get around campus has been talked about for years. Director of Safety and Risk Management, Derek Preas, says that no one actually acted on the ideas until just three years ago. Although the program does not have any dedicated shuttles, for the time being, four student transportation buses have been being used for the services as well occasionally a golf cart to help assets injured students or students with disabilities. “Those with mobility issues, we try to meet that need.” Preas said. “we also have two busses with lifts.”

Besides providing the basic service of transporting students to different buildings, currently the shuttle bus service actually offers three different services. There’s the general shuttle service Mondays through Fridays which has fifteen identifies stops on campus. “We’ll pick you up at a stop and take you to whatever building on campus that you need to go to.” Preas said. There is also an evening shuttle bus service active from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Mondays through Thursday’s that take students to Walmart, Dollar General, Brookshires, and Family Dollar. For those students who have classes off the main campus- for example the Dallas campus- there is also a shuttle service provided for them as well when needed.

Currently the shuttle service is staffed by nine drivers. For some time, the university did cover the funds for the services, “to see if there was actually a need.” Preas said. “a couple of surveys went out to students and a couple talks went out to students and the majority of the students said yes, we should pay for this, we want these services.” So currently now, the services are being covered in students tuition costs.

To Preas surprise, the shuttle services have actually been more successful than he expected. “I didn’t think it had a chance.” Preas said. “If you look above our campus, it’s small. It’s smaller than my pinky finger.” Preas believes that by no means is the program as successful as it can be but does think it has greater potential. “I have great hopes for this program, I think it is going to take a couple years for it to get off and be utilized to its full potential.” Preas said. “but overall, I think it’s been successful.”