Traveller provides updates about its polices, expectations at meeting

The Steering Committee hosts a program overview of Traveller to discuss its transit and dispatch options

Catherine Latour

Steering Committee Chair Caroline Brassfield said she wants Washington and Lee students to know that the Traveller Safe Ride Program is a privilege that should not be abused.

“Traveller is an amazing privilege that W&L students often take for granted,” Brassfield said in an email. “[W]e as a Steering Committee want to be sure we do everything in our power to keep the whole student body in the loop and offer opportunities for questions and concerns to be heard.” The Steering Committee offered a program overview of the safe ride system’s transit and dispatch services last Tuesday.

“[W]e felt it would be best if we offered a formal presentation of our policies to the whole student body so that everyone could have the opportunity to come and ask questions or just get a quick refresher on how the system works,” Brassfield said.

Traveller Transit recently adopted a new route in order to accommodate the 300-plus students who joined campus with the addition of junior-year housing. The route combined the once underused city route and preferred country route into one continuous route.

The Steering Committee said the new route helped them to better serve students. The single route makes it easier for first-year students, reduces waiting time for cabin residents and eliminates the confusion of what bus to take.

Traveller Transit runs a single route from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. It may be altered on some nights to accommodate special events, but it usually stops at a designated bus stop in historic Lexington and in the county areas.

Traveller Dispatch operates every night of the week from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and serves as a supplement to Traveller Transit on the nights it runs. Traveller Dispatch responds to callers needing a ride within a five-mile driving distance of campus.

Dispatch Chair John Juneau said he wants students to know how to use dispatch the right way so that they can guarantee themselves a ride.

“Traveller Dispatch is not a taxi system,” Juneau said. “Dispatch will not come even if you have been waiting for a long time.”

Traveller workers do not keep track of buses on the route, and they do not know exactly where each bus is at a certain time. A bus is expected to come every 15 minutes, but the overall route takes anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes.

Monitor Chair Garrett Singer followed up Traveller’s service explanation with insight about their conduct policy.

“Our policy is meant to create a system of accountability for students whose conduct within Traveller system is not consistent with the values of the university,” Singer said.

Sanctions are given to students who violate established Traveller rules and behave in a way not consistent with Washington and Lee expects from them. Singer said students can receive sanctions for verbal abuse to transit or dispatch workers, bringing a drink on Traveller or cutting in line.

Brassfield said the Steering Committee plans to host similar information sessions on a more regular basis.

“Traveller’s mission is to educate students on the potential dangers of driving under the influences of drugs or alcohol and provide them with safe travel home,” Brassfield said.

Students who are interested in working for Traveller can contact [email protected] and ask for an application.