Story and Photo by Sara Guernsey/Staff Writer/@saraguernsey1
Viking Voyager rolls out with an extended schedule
A new schedule for the Viking Voyager has been put into effect for the Spring semester.
The Voyager is the free shuttle that transports students and employees commuting between the PCC and LAC. The bus makes stops at PCC, Lot D at LAC and Veterans Stadium. This semester, the hours of operation for the shuttle service have been significantly increased. In the past, the shuttle ran Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., with pick-ups every half hour in the mornings and evenings and every hour during the midday hours.
Starting with the Spring semester, the shuttle schedule has been extended and runs Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. with the final pick-up at 9 p.m. In addition, the shuttle also now is available Fridays, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. both with a final pick-up time of 2:30 p.m. The frequency of shuttle pick-ups also has been increased, as the shuttle now runs every half-hour during all hours of operation. A complete shuttle schedule is available on the school website, lbcc.edu.
The free shuttle between the two campuses offers service to hundreds of students daily. One of the students, Mark Reyes, 23, a biology major, has been taking the shuttle for three years. He described the conditions on the shuttle before the new schedule was implemented, saying, “People were cramming in before, standing in the aisles, all the way up to the driver’s seat.”
He said that because of the new schedule, the buses have “shorter lines, more available seating and less people standing.” He said he is grateful that the shuttle runs more frequently, so that he no longer has to pay to ride the Long Beach Transit bus to make it to his classes on time.
The shuttle, funded by Student Equity and the LBCC Associated Student Body, is run by the Professional Parking company. The company also provides this service to Cal States Long Beach and Dominguez Hills and UC Irvine, said one of the drivers of the Viking Voyager, Bruce Lovelady. Lovelady worked with the company for seven years and will turn 65 this year.
Lovelady likes working for the company because “they are always coming up with something creative.” Lovelady was only recently transferred to drive at LBCC, but already, he said he believes the Voyager is a wonderful service for students that allows them to have more flexibility in their schedules.