Opinion: Campus bus drivers should be more appreciated for their work ​​​

Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2014 11:03 pm | Updated: 9:40 am, Fri Sep 5, 2014. Ryan Monk, Daily Reveille

They always say that life is about the trip and not the destination. I’m not sure how much I agree with that. 

Regardless, whether you’re in it for the trip or the destination, the former is a necessary step in the process.

Almost everyone I know who isn’t a freshman lives off campus, some of them a good few miles away from our beloved institution. Except for the infinitesimal chunk of them who just adore walking or biking, they all use some form of motor transportation for the commute.

Now, I would mention on-campus parking, but we already know how everyone feels about that. The grunts and groans from the student body would probably cause the first major earthquake in Baton Rouge since who-knows-when. And we wouldn’t want to jeopardize all that beautiful steel we just added to Tiger Stadium.

Anyway, the next best option is the University bus system, Tiger Trails. There are eight regular routes for weekdays, two for weeknights and a Sunday shuttle, all working to get students where they need to be.  
           
Whether it’s to class, to work or to your ex’s dorm to tell them just how wrong they’ve been this entire godforsaken  time.

I’ve lived on the Tigerland route for my sophomore, junior and senior years, and I haven’t had a vehicle of my own for the past six months or so. If I believed in a god, the music playing during its descent would be that lovely squeal you hear when the bus is just around the corner.

Hallelujah!

But we should be careful not to worship false idols. The buses themselves are neat and all, but the drivers are the ones making it all happen.

I have no idea how the Tiger Trails employees put up with students’ drunken antics in the middle of the night.

I can hardly tolerate sitting on the night bus on a Friday evening, so I’d surely be fired after my first weekend if I had to drive those ethanol rags around town.

I wanted to chat with a few  drivers on the topic, but I was told they aren’t supposed to talk to us. So if any of you guys happen to be reading this (while off duty, of course), I want to thank you.

And to anyone else whose eyes happen to catch this: I want you to personally thank your driver next time you get on a Tiger Trails bus.

Whether you’re groggy from spending all night trying to find that small error in your Excel spreadsheet or you’re stumbling from your one-night stand’s apartment, show your appreciation (and you had better have a good bit of it).

Not just for stomaching the drunken antics of the most obnoxious of our student population. Not just for making it possible to manage without a vehicle. But for making the entirety of Louisiana State University functional.

Take a look around the Journalism Building on a Monday morning. Catch that passing glance through the window of the bus you just you just missed because TransLoc wasn’t working. Scan the rest of the floor when you’re struggling to pretend you’re not terrified that little handle won’t be enough to keep you standing on a moving vehicle.

Figuratively, everyone is using the buses.

Without them, and their steady drivers, the University would fall apart. 

Campus food vendors would lose business. Class attendance would plummet. Parking would no longer be something to complain about; it would simply be almost non-existent. 

I cannot stress enough how necessary the Tiger Trails bus drivers are to my, and most likely your, overall well-being. Those guys are lifesavers.

Jesus is cool, but I honestly think I’d rather let them take the wheel.

Ryan Monk is a 21-year-old chemical engineering senior from Lake Charles, Louisiana. You can reach him on Twitter

@RyanMonkTDR.