In need of a spur of the moment late night trip to Target for the quintessential dorm room snacks? Stuck walking to class in temperatures that definitely hang below a comfortable December chill? 

If not for the unsung heroes of Saint Joseph’s University, the shuttle drivers, many of us would be stuck snackless, and forced to excessively layer clothing just to merely brave the hike to take that final. 

The shuttle service at Saint Joe’s is a school-based entity that provides transportation to students living in upperclass dorms, to and from classes, as well as to stores such as the City Ave Target, Acme, and other well-known shops. With an East and West shuttle service that runs constantly all day, seven days a week, students are provided with consistent transportation. 

Shuttle driver Bryant is one of the many unsung heroes of SJU! Photo by: Christian McCarry.

However, it’s important for students to acknowledge the grueling, demanding schedule for the man or woman behind the mask—the drivers. In order to gain an inside look into the lives of these drivers, we interviewed Pam, a long-time shuttle driver here at SJU.

Pam has “been a shuttle driver here at SJU for seventeen years and counting.” She said, “[being a shuttle driver is] nice. You get to meet different people.”

She shared a heartwarming memory. “Some students give gifts. Specifically, this one girl gave me a card, and every time she gets on the bus she greets me with a ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’. That girl and those types of students doing little acts of kindness like that makes my job worlds better.”

“It’s a very rewarding job: being able to help students get where they need to be. I’m honored to be a part of that.”

– Shuttle driver Pam

Pam continued, “[She] says how I always get her to class on time, and if it weren’t for me she would have to walk all the way to class in the cold. The best moment was when I had a day off from work, she hopped on my bus the next day and exclaimed how much she missed me. That really warmed my heart.”

When asked if there is anything the school could do to make the drivers’ jobs easier, she replied: “…better busses for the students; I’ve been driving this bus for a long time now and it gets very hot for the students in the summertime… other than that, they do a good job.”

 While she did not have any particular message she’d like to convey to students, nor any specific stories, she said, “you get to meet a lot of characters, and overall very nice students.” 

She noted how at the end of the day she really enjoys interacting and helping provide transportation for Saint Joe’s students regardless if she is acknowledged or not. 

An empty shuttle bus before students arrive. Photo by: Christian McCarry

As students, we are incredibly lucky to have such attentive, hardworking, and friendly shuttle staff that provide us transportation each and every day. We should all take pride and honor in ensuring to properly thank these heroes for all that they do! 

Pam said, “It’s a very rewarding job: being able to help students get where they need to be. I’m honored to be a part of that.”