New vehicles shuttling students to campus from RiverView and Kenilworth
By Brad Stratton
Students in off-campus university housing are traveling to campus in style this semester thanks to new wheels courtesy of the UWM Real Estate Foundation (REF). The first new shuttle bus, emblazoned with the UWM Panther logo and oversized images of students cheering at basketball games, is already making frequent rounds from RiverView and Kenilworth Square.
The new fleet includes a second shuttle bus, Honda Odyssey minivan and Honda Insight hybrid car. All have distinctive black-and-gold UWM designs created by the Union Marketing Services staff.
Traditional school buses will continue to be used during high-capacity hours of the day, with the new shuttles being used during less-busy times, and the minivan and car being used at low-volume times. University Housing Director Scott Peak said the new vehicles will achieve excellent fuel cost savings. Last year, the only vehicles available for the route were the full-sized school buses.
For an added level of safety, Peak said all of the vehicles will be driven by operators with Wisconsin commercial driver licenses. Vehicles also will be equipped with a global positioning system that will allow students to track the current whereabouts of the vehicles on their routes.
The vehicles were acquired for use by University Housing by the UWM REF. "Scott brought up the need for more efficient transportation operations between our student housing facilities and campus, and our board felt that these vechicles would be a good investment of foundation resources to the benefit of UWM," said REF President David Gilbert.
The REF, an affiliate organization of the UWM Foundation, was created in 2005 to develop and hold real estate for the benefit of UWM. RiverView residence hall, which opened in January 2008, was its first project. It is currently developing Cambridge Commons, a 700-bed university housing facility scheduled to open in fall 2010.
The two new shuttle buses, which each have a 25-student capacity, were built by Glaval Bus, Elkhart, Ind.