Some students spend a part of their days looking at the campus through a windshield. A big windshield, at that. They are the members of BSU Transit’s driving corps. Piloting buses, vans and sedans, these 17 students keep members of the BSU community rolling.
BSU Transit is a student-run department and offers some of the highest-paying jobs on campus. But the drivers and managers who work there gain much more than a paycheck, said Stefanie Eaton, assistant director, facilities management and planning.
“I feel that one of the best aspects is the experience that students get, especially the managers,” she said.
The student fleet is comprised of professional drivers. This means that they have their commercial driver’s license (CDL), which is provided free by BSU. Training is held on campus during winter and summer breaks. The training of new drivers is handled by members of the current staff, and the trainees are paid during this time.
Again, this can open doors for the participants, said Ms. Eaton.
“With the CDL, students have many opportunities to drive for other companies,” she said.
The department also provides vehicles and drivers for BSU employees who are traveling around the region or need a lift to or from the airport. They also shuttle athletic teams to and from games.
The transit department strives to provide an optimal riding experience, always looking to incorporate enhancements whenever possible, said James Lonergan, ’15, and BSU Transit’s operations manager.
“We started using NextBus this semester, which shows students where the buses currently are and how to plan their schedule around it,” he said. “This means they no longer have to wait at a stop, guessing when the bus will arrive. We also started using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to display real-time updates concerning any issues or route changes, in hopes to improve reliability.”
Speaking of recent developments, students may notice a new 35-foot bus roving around campus. The transit department has received a fully refurbished 2005 Gillig through the university’s partnership with Brockton Area Transit.
The needs for a larger vehicle arose when an older bus incurred issues and was taken off the road. A year without a larger bus caused increased wait times for passengers, and with the growing number of student riders over the last year it was necessary to put a larger vehicle on, Ms. Eaton said.
“Our department provides many shuttles for on-campus events where there may be a couple of hundred attendees. The Gillig will enable fewer trips across campus to accommodate all riders by being able to hold more onboard,” she said.
If BSU Transit sounds like a place that’s on the move, interested students will now get a chance to get behind the wheel. The department is searching for new student drivers for the fall semester. Students will be trained over the summer for a three-week period.
“Transit has a fun atmosphere to work in, where we enjoy each others company. We believe any student would fit in at this job,” said Mr. Lonergan. (Story by student Caitlin Seddon, University News)