Riding solo

Biola responds to students’ shuttle woes, hiring an additional driver to ensure weekend transportation off campus.

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The Biola shuttle bus waits for passengers at its pick-up area south of the pool. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

 

Biola hired a new substitute driver to help resolve issues in operating the Biola shuttle that had left students stuck on campus.

“I have on at least four different occasions gone to the shuttle and found out that it was closed for the weekend,” said James Stinson, freshman intercultural studies major. “I was able to use the shuttle on Friday and then I went on Saturday and it was closed.”

When one substitute driver quit and one part time driver took time off due to a non-work-related injury, the lack of a driver left students with no means of transportation off campus. However, the new substitute driver hired in the second week of November allows the shuttle to operate on weekends.

“We regret that we haven’t been able to offer the service that we promised. We’ve been working on it hard to try to get more people in. People can pray for Frank, our injured driver. We’re hoping that he can come back soon because that would also solve the problem,” said Jonathan Rowley, assistant manager of residential facilities.

Both shuttles must be fully staffed in order to complete shuttle routes. The shuttle needs two full time drivers, two part time drivers and a substitute driver to complete routes throughout the week, Rowley said. The substitute driver position runs the shuttle when the regular drivers take sick days, vacation leave or are otherwise unable to drive.

Despite difficulties with the city routes, students who have used the shuttle appreciate the friendliness of the drivers.

“I’ve always found the shuttle drivers to be really polite and fun to talk with. Especially when it’s eleven at night, you can converse with them and it’s really cool to hear their stories,” said Alex Patton, freshman computer science major. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the level of service that the shuttle provides.”

Biola uses funding from the residential facilities budget to provide the shuttle without fees, Rowley said. The shuttle’s city route visits local movie theaters and shopping centers Thursday through Sunday. It also has an apartment route that visits the La Mirada Apartments Monday through Friday.

Students can follow the Biola shuttle on Twitter and visit the route display website that uses GPS in real time to show the location of the bus and displays announcements about the shuttle service.

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