College Q&A: UHV shuttles provide safe, expanded services
The University of Houston-Victoria shuttle buses have been in use for a year. Are many UHV students using them?
A year after starting shuttle services between the UHV main campus and residence halls, services are so successful that the university is expanding to offer more for students.
The university shuttle service started in fall 2012 with three 11-passenger buses purchased from Victoria Transit. With concerns about students safely crossing Houston Highway to get from the residence halls to UHV's academic buildings, university administrators funded the service.
Les Garcia, UHV shuttle services supervisor, said that the numbers show the success of the program. During the fall 2012 semester, there were about 11,000 trips made on the shuttle buses that have pictures of UHV students and jaX the jaguar on the sides. In the first month of this school year, more than 18,000 trips were recorded.
"A year ago, we averaged around 400 riders a day, and now, the daily average is close to 900 riders," Garcia said. "And the most important part is that we rarely see students crossing the Houston Highway."
The shuttles have become so popular that UHV has added a larger bus that seats 19 riders. The university also is in the process of purchasing another large bus that should be in service by the end of the semester.
Throughout the year, UHV has expanded services to include more routes and use for special events. With Victoria College students living in the UHV residence halls, the shuttles now routinely transport students to Victoria College buildings and the VC/UHV Library.
Shuttles recently started taking students Monday through Thursday evenings from the residence halls to the YMCA of the Golden Crescent. UHV signed an agreement in August with the YMCA to offer free memberships for residential students.
UHV also shuttles students who are mentoring elementary and middle school students to various Victoria Independent School District campuses. Shuttle buses transport students to off-campus UHV Student Life events, such as Cinemark Movie Nights and the Totally '80s Skate Night at Skateworld. The shuttles also are used for Jaguar Days, the university's event for prospective students.
In the future, Garcia said shuttle services will continue to accommodate the university's needs. For now, UHV is interested in hiring more drivers, who are either community members or student workers.
Those interested can contact Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 361-485-4557. Drivers with a commercial driver's license are preferred but not required.
Do you have a question about the University of Houston-Victoria? Contact Katy Walterscheidt, UHV communications specialist, at 361-570-4342 or at email@example.com.