Shuttle Gus may begin Wal-Mart transportation route

Lauren Gorla

Shuttle Gus, a program in place to ensure students arrive home safely on the weekends, may be expanding its services to include taking students to different businesses in Statesboro.

The Student Government Association is discussing plans to expand Shuttle Gus so that on Sundays students could receive rides to Wal-Mart or other places.

“As of right now, students who don’t have cars really don’t have much access to other parts of Statesboro, so to increase that, that’s the main goal,” Dominique Quarles, president of SGA, said.

A committee, that has yet to be assembled, will decide the exact location, Quarles said.

Quarles hopes that the new program will be improved and running for the upcoming spring semester.

This expansion of Shuttle Gus would mean that students who don’t have transportation would be able to have a ride into Statesboro to pick up essentials at stores, Quarles said.

“Usually there’s about three cars running per weekend and each organization has to have eight members there,” Chad Harmon, vice president of Academic Affairs for SGA, said.  “What happens is people call and the dispatcher gets all their information and phone number and looks to see which car is most available.”

Currently, Shuttle Gus operates from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night excluding holiday weekends and breaks.

Shuttle Gus is a free service that uses volunteers from student organizations across campus as drivers.

The service will remain free even if it is extended to include driving students to other locations, Quarles said.

The drivers do take tips, which go back into gas for the vehicle, Harmon said.

“People appreciate it and are always shocked that it’s free,” Harmon said.

Volunteers are paid $300 for a weekend in order to make sure that there are always volunteers, Quarles said.

“They’re delegated to do it about once a year because we have so many student organizations that are interested in doing it.  We can’t really allow people to do it twice because then it’s unfair to others,” Quarles said.

Over the past few years, students have been calling more frequently and using the Shuttle Gus program often, mostly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 12 p.m., Garrett Green, vice president of Auxiliary Affairs for SGA, said.

“It’s picked up the last few years, but we can always use more business,” Green said.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re helping students and benefiting your organization,” Harmon said.

Green said, “It’s an interesting experience, and it’s good community service because you’re preventing students from getting a ticket or criminal offense.”