Sustainability

UT Profile: Georgia Southern U. adds ElDorados to meet growth

Posted on April 22, 2013

In February, Statesboro, Ga.-based Georgia Southern University began a new era in transporting students around campus with the unveiling of a new fleet of ElDoradoNational EZ Rider Low-Floor buses for its Southern Express shuttle service.

The service began in 2005 with five buses running one route and has grown to three routes, serving more than two million rides per year to students. The service has since expanded to 12 buses running two routes Monday through Friday.

“As with any growing university, parking spaces on campus are at a premium, and we found ourselves unable to keep up with the growing demands for parking spaces,” said Kristi Bryant, director, parking & transportation, for Georgia Southern about the reasons behind launching the service. “From the first day of transit service, it has been well received by our university community.”

Since each new bus will be equipped with GPS, students will soon be able to use their smartphones and a mobile app to track a bus instead of spending valuable time waiting at a bus stop. There are safety improvements, too. The buses have low-floors and a handicap ramp instead of a lift. There are also more handrails on the buses and a larger front window where drivers can have better views of the roads.

The new Southern Express buses also run on biodiesel, completing the system’s transition from compressed natural gas. The university anticipates opening a new facility that will house a biodiesel fueling station in the short-term future.

The buses are owned and operated by First Transit under contract with Georgia Southern.

“Georgia Southern and First Transit have had a wonderful business relationship since the day they arrived,” said Bryant. “The staff is very courteous and strives for excellence. The drivers that are employed are highly trained, well qualified drivers that are the best in the region. If any routes are changed and/or modified, we are always consulted. If we, as a university, ask for a route change, they are ready, willing and capable of handling our request.”

The transit program is funded by a mandatory student Transportation Fee of $55/semester. No ID is needed and anyone can ride. Additionally, faculty and staff members can opt out of paying to park on campus by parking at the university’s stadium and riding the transit system. 

Since the inception of the Southern Express, the university has grown from around 17,000 students in 2006 to 20,500 today. The university is expecting to grow to 25,000 students by 2020, according to Bryant, who is expecting the shuttle service to expand as well.

"The future of transportation on campus is exciting. We hope to offer more routes on campus as well as offer a weekend shuttle to the shopping district, off campus,” she said. “Long term, I would like to see our student transportation system integrate with a city transit service — the City of Statesboro does not have any type of public transportation, currently — offering our students a broad variety of destinations.”

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Check out, "UT Profile: Student-run Unitrans keeps sustainability in mind."

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

AVM to launch new all-electric mid-size shuttle bus

A portfolio company of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, AVM has commitments from launch customers in the U.S. and abroad for more than 250 vehicles.

San Antonio VIA's new CNG fueling station largest in North America

VIA’s full fleet conversion will be complete in 2025. More than one-half of VIA’s diesel revenue vehicles have been replaced with CNG buses to date.

Ill.'s MetroLINK to debut Proterra all-electric buses

The public debut of the battery-electric buses comes on the heels of a recent award of $3.165 million in FTA 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities funds to MetroLINK for the purchase of five additional Proterra battery-electric buses and charging equipment.

Converted cooking oil fuels WKU's shuttle bus

Engineering students convert cooking oil previously used to prepare French fries, chicken and other favorites in campus restaurants to biodiesel.

New Flyer lauds CUTRIC on fast-charge electric bus demo

The project will test interoperability of electric transit vehicles using a new standardized high-powered overhead charging system.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close