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The Charger Bulletin

Shuttle Scare: Sleeping on the Job

The Charger Bulletin

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By ANONYMOUS
contributing Writer
Chargerbulletin@.newhaven.edu

I have used the Boston Post Road shuttle more times than I can count and I’ve never had a problem with the service. As a student who does not have a car at school, and never will, I have depended on the shuttle to get me to the mall so I can get errands done without having to constantly annoy my friends with cars for a ride. On Friday Feb. 26, I had decided to take the shuttle with a friend to the Christmas Tree Shops. After waiting outside for the shuttle to get off break around 6 p.m., we boarded the shuttle once the driver woke up from a nap. As I got on the shuttle, I felt extremely uneasy, and I could not figure out why I was feeling this way.

Before the shuttle even left the stop, the driver started to shiver and rub her arms and legs, as if to warm them up. I placated myself, saying she had just kept the door open to let students on and was now cold like the rest of us. While we waited to make the left on to the Post Road, the driver started to shake and mumbled something about the cold while we had just sat through a whole green light. I turned to my friend and told her I did not feel comfortable and we had not even left campus yet. There was something wrong and I immediately felt it as we started down the Post road.

The shuttle swerved through traffic and started to drift between lanes as we drove. I looked around the shuttle to see if anyone else was as panicked as I was. The majority of the students were on their phones and, by the time I looked back at the driver, it looked like she was fighting to stay awake. We had not even made it past Happy Harry’s and the driver attempted to pull over, put the bus into park, and promptly slumped her head with her eyes closed. I could not tell if the driver had just fallen asleep or something medical had happened. I was terrified; we were just sitting in the right lane with the shuttle in park. I turned around to the rest of the people on the shuttle who looked confused. I asked if anyone had the number for campus police and if so, to call. A student went to the driver and tapped her shoulder to see if she would respond.

The student who checked on the driver got her to respond and told her that they no longer felt safe and wanted to get off because she had just fallen asleep. What made me angry was that she would not let this student off and made us wait until we got to Target and denied that she had fallen asleep. After telling us that we were safe, she jerked the bus into drive and I wanted to get off as well. Although more than half the bus wanted to go to the mall, all but two people got off at Target. Later on, while talking to a few of the students about what happened, I learned that three other people have contacted campus police. They contacted the driver, who denied that anyone tapped her on the shoulder or talked to her and told the officer she was fine. He then assured us that he is trying to contact her manager to get her suspended.

It was only 6 p.m. when this incident happened and I am still in shock. Things could have ended much worse than they did. I am extremely thankful that the driver at least had the sense to pull over and put the shuttle in park but I also now wonder if things did not happen like they did would we have crashed or would I have made it to the front in time to grab the wheel? I am asking that you stay vigilant the next time you decide to ride the shuttle because you never know if this will happen to you.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Shuttle Scare: Sleeping on the Job