Improvements being made to campus transportation service

SGA President Adarian Williams informs students that drivers are volunteers that want to give back to the community. Courtesy photo

The Student Government Association Office of Transportation is a helpful service that students are encouraged to take advantage of if they have local travel needs. 


Services include but are not limited to rides to the airport, daily runs to Walmart, Legends Market, and Dollar Tree. 


“Online forms are also available for students who have appointments within Lincoln Parish, there is no minimum amount of students to sign up,” Kendra McKee, Student Government Association Office of Transportation Director, said. “Additionally, any organization or department can request our services, but we have implemented a new Usage Fee as of Nov. 1, 2018.” 


A great deal of students use the shuttle bus for various reasons, but sometimes encounter minor issues. 


“It is ultimately up to the student body to reach out to such student leaders to voice their concerns and they can also be informed that there are policy and procedures that go beyond the Office of Transportation,” McKee said. 


Sometimes students don’t understand that they have the power to make changes if they become knowledgeable of why things are ran in a such a manner and voice their opinions to the appropriate higher powers. 


“Before I got a car, I used the shuttle to get to Walmart and the airport,” R’reon Robinson, a junior at GSU, said. “I usually had to rearrange my schedule for the airport. They wouldn’t tell us that we had to wait for other students when they picked us up from the airport so I would wait hours before calling and asking where the shuttle was. I have no problem waiting for anyone else, I just wish it was communicated better.” 


Recent improvements have been made to to the services to minimize confusion for students who tend to wait multiple hours at airports. 


“We will now have the shuttle departing campus and airports on select days at a set schedule,” McKee said. “The shuttle will leave campus daily to depart to Shreveport and Monroe airports 4 different times.” 


Samiyah Garcia, a sophomore at GSU, said the shuttle has not always shown up when it is scheduled.  


“I’ve used the shuttle for runs to Walmart, the bank, the mall, and to the airport,” Garcia said. “There were times where I thought the shuttle was running but it never came.” 


McKee said unfortunately cancellations do occur. 


“There are times of unforeseen events that we cannot control, such as student emergencies or shuttle maintenance issues,” McKee said. “Considering that our drivers are part time and hold other responsibilities. If absolutely no one is available, then unfortunately we have no choice but to cancel services.” 


The shuttle bus also does not operate during university closures. Students can stay updated by checking the weekly GRAMBUZZ newsletter or follow the Office of Transportation on Twitter. 


DeJohn Morehead, a freshman at GSU, said the shuttle bus service needs some adjustments. 


“Sometimes drivers would pull up to the loading zone and say they didn’t feel like doing their runs, then would leave and leave us without transportation to Walmart,” Morehead said. 


Student Government Association President Adarian Williams said students  


“If there are ever any problems, students shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to student leaders located on the second floor of the student union,” Williams said. “It’s important to understand that the office of transportation is student ran and there’s always room for improvement, but it takes time.”


Williams also noted that drivers are volunteers who are mostly retired and decide to become drivers as a way to give back to the community. 


The Office of Transportation will be hosting an informational for open positions on Feb. 5 and Feb. 8. Those who use the shuttle service are advised on the lookout for updates.