CyRide drivers ask students to have caution when walking on campus roads


With more students on campus than ever before, it is especially important to be conscious of traffic when making your way through campus. Students cross Osbourne Drive in front of a CyRide bus on Monday, Sept. 16.

Ryan Anderson

CyRide buses provide students a mode of transportation both on and off campus, but CyRide drivers say students exhibit actions that put the safety of CyRide drivers and passengers at risk.

“It is quite amazing when you are sitting behind the wheel because students are so off in their own world,” said Dan Lekin, CyRide bus driver. “Whether they [are] listening to their iPod, on their phone or just thinking about getting to class, they just walk right out in front of you.”

While the roads around campus are meant for vehicles, bicycles and skateboards must share the road with them as well. This can cause some tense situations for bus drivers.

“If we hit or touch someone by like a feather touch, automatically we are fired,” Lekin said. “It is a really big deal to us drivers.”

A driver was fired a few weeks ago for the bus coming into contact with a pedestrian. No one was injured in the event.

“It is very sad and unfortunate,” Lekin said. “It really just broke my heart that he was let go because it was an accident.”

CyRide provides transport for students going to and from classes week in and week out, but busy streets could cause possible delays for the buses.

“There are crowds of kids walking out in the middle of the street when buses are coming through,” said Kieran Gordon, freshman in open option (LAS).

According to the CyRide website, there are more than 85 CyRide buses driving about campus and the city of Ames throughout the day.

“Up on Osborn Drive, up from Kildee Hall, students go out in the middle of the street when all of the buses are trying to go every which way,” Gordon said.

Lekin said he believes students who walk in front of the buses at inopportune times only add to the stress of the drivers. 

“Please empathize to the bus drivers because we have a job to do and this job, it pays my bills,” Lekin said. “We are working blue collar working class folk, and if anything happens, like an accident occurs, that is our livelihood, and it’s gone.”

It is very important to make sure students follow all of the CyRide safety rules, Lekin said. It can be especially distracting to drivers when students spill liquids or food on the bus.

“We are doing our job; this is safety,” Lekin said. “We do not want any issues.”