Shuttle Service welcomes student drivers

This fall, the Lion Traxx Shuttle Services increases route efficiency and employment opportunities with additional student funding.

The Student Government Association allowed students to vote to increase student fees to improve the bus route’s speed and experience. In addition to adding a fourth bus, Shuttle Services opened the doors to student drivers, offering real-world experience and financing students’ training for appropriate certifications. 

student bus driver

Danny Cherry (above), junior occupational safety and health major, trained over the summer to work
as a student driver for the Lion Traxx Shuttle Services.  The Lion’s Roar / Allison Crady
 

“In the spring, SGA increased our fee through student voting,” said Gary Prescott, director of Lion Traxx Shuttle Services. “In return, we wanted to provide the students with a better opportunity to not only enhance their educational experience by giving them real world opportunities to drive the shuttle bus, but also to give the campus community better access to our shuttle buses by ensuring more drivers will be driving during our peak hours.” 

The additional bus will shorten wait time between each shuttle, helping students arrive to classes on time.

“The addition doesn’t ensure a faster time around campus, but it does ensure that more buses will hit the stops more frequently,” said Prescott. “Instead of having a 10-minute wait with three buses going around campus, there will now be a six-minute wait with four buses.” 

Shuttle Services hired their first student driver over the summer. Danny Cherry, junior occupational safety and health major, spent the summer training and earning his certifications. 

“[Cherry] had to get his commercials drivers license, and he had to complete about a hundred hours of on the road driver training,” said Prescott. “With the beginning of the fall semester, he is finishing training and will be driving on his own within the next week or two.”

After describing the training process and difficult three-part test he was required to pass, Cherry discussed his reaction to the new position. 

“I’m really enjoying it. I just felt like it would be a cool job [that would] never get boring,” said Cherry. “I’m still trying to get used to driving around most of my peers, so it’s kind of weird right now.”  

When asked about potential student concerns regarding a younger driver, Prescott explained the services’ primary focus on safety.

“I think the students are mainly concerned about having a good, safe driver,” said Prescott. “Southeastern is a pedestrian-friendly campus, and as long as the buses are running and safe, the students are happy.” 

In addition to student drivers and a fourth bus, Lion Traxx plans to add more stops to the current bus route for the spring semester.

“One thing we’re looking to do for the spring of 2015 is to possibly initiate a two-route system,” said Prescott. “Instead of doing the one main route around campus, we’ll split it into two separate routes which will allow us to add more stops and have quicker route times.”

Potential additional bus stops include the Student Union and the Cate Teacher Education Center. 

Aside from the background check, drug test and certifications needed, the position is similar to other student-worker jobs.

“It’s a student worker position, but the benefit of this position is we pay for the students’ licensing, the commercial driver’s license,” said Prescott.

Students can visit the work-study office to apply for Shuttle Services, which currently has two student driver positions available. To track buses at any time, visit selu.edu/traxx or for more information call the shuttle services at 985-549-2877.