When it comes to the Gamecock Express, JSU students have always been up in arms. With the introduction of the newest bus, JSU students were on the edge again.
“Wow! It’s a nice bus,” said James Parker, a senior at JSU, “but what’s the point in getting new buses and we haven’t had the white buses that long?”
Parker went on to say that he feels the money they used for the buses could have been used towards something better.
Junior JSU Student Brooke Fuqua agreed. “I believe the money could go to something other than a cooler looking bus; the other buses work just fine,” she said.
The primary concern of the JSU students was whether or not the bus was bought with their tuition money.
Joe Whitmore is the Director of Institutional Support Services at JSU. According to him, the new bus was loaned to JSU by NABI (North American Bus Industry), at no cost.
NABI and Cummins Engine have agreed to put a prototype engine in the new bus. JSU was asked to use the bus to test the engine and put 10,000 miles on it. JSU is the only university in the United States with this technology.
"We've not paid anything for the use of that bus," said Whitmore. "NABI even paid the cost to put the Gamecock Express graphics on the windows."
After being informed that JSU had not spent any money on the new bus, James Parker's views on upgrading the buses changed.
"I think JSU should consider upgrading the bus system," said Parker. "The buses they have now are too small and crowded."
The new bus addresses his concern about over-crowding. According to Joe Whitmore, the new bus seats 36 with room for 10-20 more people to stand. The old busses only hold 30-35 including standing room. The bus will primarily be run on the red route, as it is the busiest.
The new bus is not a permanent addition to the Gamecock Express. It is only here until it reaches 10,000 miles, which is expected to happen during the spring semester 2013.