The Stampede has been revamped this year – the buses look nice, they’re shiny, they’re pretty and apparently they’re air-conditioned. Unfortunately, only a few students have seen – let alone sat in – the new buses, leading many to believe they simply don’t exist.
Other students who have had the privilege of earning a seat on the exceptional buses give them credit for the unique ways in which the transportation system has improved their lives.
For Ryan Winters, a sophomore English major, the new busing system has given him the chance to explore more of Buffalo.
“After waiting an hour for a bus, I said to myself, ‘Hey, I might as well just walk to campus,’” Winters said. “Unfortunately, I got lost and ended up somewhere on Bailey. I only got my backpack and wallet stolen! I was lucky. When I finally walked back to the bus stop, wouldn’t you know it, but the same people I saw earlier were still waiting!”
Winters waited another 15 minutes until finally, a bus appeared on the horizon. Too bad for him, he couldn’t fit with everyone else and was promptly kicked off the bus.
Other students have decided to camp out at the bus stops, never wanting to miss the rare opportunity to actually make it to their classes on time. Tents, sleeping bags and makeshift grills have been spotted on both South and North Campuses, where students have set up shop.
“This busing system has really helped me work on my Boy Scout skills,” said Bryan Hodge, a senior anthropology major. “I get to set up tents, work on my grilling skills – I can finally make one hell of a hotdog. And keep this on the down low, but I also heard that sometime in the near future we’re going to build a campfire! Know what that means?S’mores!”
Although faced with a small section of scrutiny from students, administrators had this to say: “What do you mean buses haven’t been received well by the students? They’re air conditioned!” Then added, “People are saying they’re running slowly? Impossible! We’ve added four more to the fleet!”
One of the new features of the transportation system is the UB smartphone application, which tracks where buses are on campus. Lucky for students that have a smartphone (because obviously everyone at the state school of UB is privileged with the financial stability to own an iPhone or an Android), they are now able to locate exactly where the bus that will – probably – pick them up is.
For Sheila Lubelli, sophomore geography major, the application is not as helpful to her as it is for other students.
“I’m looking at this iPhone application and it says that there are not only two out-of-service buses here,” Lubelli said, pointing to a parking lot void of Stampedes. “It also says there’s a bus right in front of me! I mean, I’m happy that UBhas mastered Wonder Woman’s invisible-plane technology, I really am. I just wish I wielded the necessary superpowers to utilize it.”
Stampede drivers, like Mike Williams, claim they’re, “just helping the UB students out.” When a group of kids starts running (or walking fast) to catch Williams’ bus, he promptly hightails it out of there as quickly as he can.
“I’m helping these kids,” Williams said. “I’ve read all about how Americans are fat and ugly, so I make ‘em run to catch the bus. If they don’t make it in time, oh well. Guess they’ll have to eat less McDonalds and more lettuce!”
A select group of drivers, Williams included, bored with the monotony of simply doing their job and driving the buses, have started a game. They call it, “how many college kids can we squeeze into these small, uncomfortable and poorly designed buses.”
“But problem with it is that we need to wait until a lot of students are around if we want to have a chance at winning,” Williams said. “Half the time, I’m just waiting around the corner with binoculars until there are enough kids to stuff in this hunk o’ junk. Sometimes I have to wait 20 or 30 minutes.”
Williams must also battle the other drivers to get to the horde of students first. Thankfully for him, he’s quite good at the game and usually has two or three buses trailing behind him.
PUBLISHED 9/14 IN THE SPECTRUM.