ANA CAHUICHE/THE RIDER
The university’s Office of Parking and Transportation is working on a new route for the Vaquero Express Connector Shuttle
that will run between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We’re looking at adding some additional service during the day and it’s just a question of us being able to get additional labor,
you know, get some more drivers on board so we can provide that service,” said Rodney Gomez, director of parking and
transportation for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Right now, we’re still looking for part-time drivers but they need
their [commercial driver’s license] and passenger endorsement. We’ve been getting résumés but they don’t have those
In an interview with The Rider last Thursday, Gomez said the university has posted job openings for part-time drivers.
“We’ve put out the word to Workforce [Solutions] that there are openings,” he said. “Also, with the trucking schools, [Human
Resources] has sent them fliers and things like that. We are aware that students do need that midday service, so we are trying, as
best as we can, to get the drivers on board because we need additional labor.”
The university has discontinued the Friday night Vaquero Express Connector Shuttle service. The bus would leave Edinburg at
7:30 and 10:30 p.m. and Brownsville at 9 and 11:30 p.m.
“We’ve been keeping track of ridership and we haven’t seen any real ridership during that time period,” Gomez said. “I believe
in the first two weeks … we had an average ridership of one person after 5 p.m. in the 7:30 p.m. trip.”
Gomez told The Rider bus drivers have been given forms to track the time of departure and how many students, faculty and
staff have utilized the shuttle service.
Six more athletic events are scheduled at 7 p.m. Fridays in Edinburg.
Asked how the lack of a Friday night shuttle will affect Brownsville students who want to attend those events, Gomez replied:
“If they do have a concern about using the bus at that time, [students] can contact me so that I can at least have a number
attached to them and if we have enough of the demand, then we can reconsider restarting that service.”
Students who want to attend weekend athletic or other university events are encouraged to call the Office of Parking and
Transportation at 665-2224.
“I think that’s too bad for the Brownsville students that want to continue to enjoy college athletics,” John Cook,
Communication Department chair and associate professor, said last Thursday. “Maybe, as we move forward, we can examine
[the events] and schedule special shuttles on sports nights.”
Marie Erwin, a marine biology junior, said the discontinuation of the shuttle services after 5 p.m. Fridays would not have much
of an effect and that having a midday service throughout the week would be beneficial.
“I think it’s OK because there’s not a lot of people signed up for classes after 5 p.m. [on Friday],” Erwin said. “Tutoring services
are a lot better [in Edinburg], so if I can get an earlier bus at 9 a.m., that would help me a lot.”
Erwin said she has to wait several hours for her classes to start once she gets to the Edinburg campus at 9 a.m.
Cook told The Rider he would support a midday service for students, faculty and staff.
“If they have the resources, I’d be supportive of more runs because it’d be helpful to all of us,” he said. “I usually get on the
7:30 a.m. [shuttle] because of my schedule. … I think it would serve the students if there were more. I’m very happy that they do
Because the Vaquero Express Connector Shuttles offer Wi-Fi, Cook said he can work on his assignments while making the trip
For timely updates on transportation services, visit the utrgv.edu/en-us/student-experience/parking/index.htm website.