Residential bus system opens in Statesboro

Megan George


Copper Beech Townhome Communities and The Grove at Statesboro now provide a shuttle system to transport their residents to Georgia Southern University’s campus and back.

The complexes have two 29-passenger shuttle buses that only Copper Beech and Grove residents will be able to use for no extra fees or charges.

“We are paying for it and splitting the cost between the two properties,” Emily Leverone, director of marketing for The Grove, said. “It is an extra benefit for living at The Grove or Copper Beech.”

“We are going to get photo IDs to distinguish our residents from other people so only our residents can use the shuttles,” Michelle Barrett, property manager at Copper Beech Townhome Communities, said. “Right now we are going to use our access cards until we get those IDs made for our residents.”

The route starts at The Grove, continues to Copper Beech, stops at the BP station on Highway 301 across from Lot 43, then finishes at the Hot Spot across from Greek Row.  There is a possibility of adding a stop at GATAs Sports Bar and Grill and Van Gogh’s Brewery and Gourmet Pizza.

Only one shuttle is running right now for summer, but the shuttle system has plans to stay in effect.

“We have two shuttles, but we’re not going to run two shuttles just because we do not have that many people,” Barrett said.

“We plan to continue it on to the next school year and beyond,” Leverone said. “It is definitely something we are going to implement and put in place and have running.”

Copper Beech residents say the new shuttle system will give residents more options to how they travel to campus.

“I think it’s nice,” Kyle Davis, Copper Beech resident and senior history major, said. “It prevents people from having to buy parking passes to go to campus, it decreases the flow of traffic to campus and I think it’s beneficial to the student body as a whole.”

Parking and Transportation Services is not concerned with the shuttle system being a threat to business.

Commuter parking passes have sold faster this year than in previous years, Kristi Bryant, director of parking and transportation services, said. Lots 31, 32 and 41 are all sold out, and other lots are filling quickly.

“I’m really not worried about [the shuttles] hurting our business,” Bryant said. “They only have two shuttles, and what they’re going to have is people waiting 30, 40 minutes.”