Campus Shuttle gives free ride to students

Michaia Hernandez / Roundup

If you’re taking performing arts classes this semester, then you’ve probably seen a brand-new-looking, white shuttle bus making its way around the vicinity.

You’ve probably even been asked by the driver if you needed a lift to get to your classes.

The Pierce College Campus Shuttle, which operates continuously Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., gives free rides to students who are having difficulty getting around campus.

“We’re here so you guys don’t have to walk the expanse of the hill to get to your classes,” said 31-year-old Rigo Salgado, who drives the shuttle for the evening shift.

The shuttle’s route is concentrated on the area between the Equestrian Center and the buildings where performing arts classes are being held.

Because there aren’t any designated stops for the shuttle, it’s able to pick students up and drop them off anywhere along the route.

“When I can, I try to take the students directly to where their cars are parked,” said Salgado. “It can get dangerous for them to walk to their cars alone, especially late at night.”

The shuttle is also equipped with a lift for wheelchair-users.

Rick Smith, who takes over the shuttle for the morning shift, encourages students to take advantage of this service.

“I don’t understand why there aren’t more people using the shuttle,” said the 47-year-old part-time limo driver. “It’s basically a free ride to get to your classes.”

Architecture major Kamran Zarrin admits that he sees the shuttle often, but he usually prefers to walk around.

“It’s so much more convenient, though,” he said after trying it out for the first time. “I’ll definitely start using it from time-to-time.”

Pierce College just started working with SMS Transportation Services, Inc., the transportation service provider that owns the shuttle, this semester.

“We have a three-year, all-semester contract with the school,” said transport coordinator Armand Hamzai.

According to Associate Vice President Larry Kraus, it costs an approximate $37 hourly to keep the shuttle running.

“The shuttle should definitely be advertised more,” said Zarrin. “It’s a really good service.”

The Pierce College Campus Shuttle sits at the student drop-off waiting for students who want a free ride around the campus on Feb. 24. (Jose Romero 2011)