GSU Gets New Shuttle Bus Fleet - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

GSU Gets New Shuttle Bus Fleet

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STATESBORO, GA -

Georgia Southern University began a new era in transporting students around campus with the unveiling of a new fleet of Southern Express shuttle buses. The first two of 12 new buses were on display Friday at Sweetheart Circle.

"This is a big day in how we keep Eagle Nation moving on campus," said University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. "Georgia Southern is always looking to improve quality of life for students. These buses will do that with features that will make catching and riding these buses easier and more enjoyable. These big, blue, beautiful buses look amazing."

Southern Express provides more than two million rides per year to students. These buses are heavy-duty, rapid transit buses used by cities and universities across the U.S. that are better equipped to carry a large volume of passengers. Georgia Southern introduced the shuttle service in 2005 with five buses running one route. The service has since expanded to 12 buses running two routes Monday through Friday.

The University is using the $55 transit fee students pay each semester to make getting around easier and more comfortable. 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 which means no steps on the bus, and they have 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.

"It's been rewarding seeing the smiles and hearing the positive comments this week as the first two new buses began transporting students," said Kristi Bryant, director of parking and transportation. "This was an extremely long process, and looking at this fleet, I can tell you it was well worth it."

The buses, owned and operated by First Transit, are not only state-of-the-art, but environmentally-friendly, too. The buses run on biodiesel which burns cleaner than the compressed natural gas used to power the University's older buses. The goal is to have all 12 new buses on campus by March 1.

 

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