Panther shuttle assists students without cars on campus

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Justin Brown, Online Editor

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Eastern students may feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting around their new homes.

This can especially worry students when they need to find a ride to Wal-Mart to grab those must-have items forgotten back home.

To solve this problem, the Panther Shuttle offers a free service to all Eastern students living both on and off campus.

“For those students that don’t have vehicles but need to get to places off campus, the Panther Shuttle will gladly take you wherever you need to go,” Panther Shuttle coordinator JaLisa Smith said.

The Panther Shuttle goes to 12 locations, from the Downtown Square to University Apartments to Wal-Mart, seven days a week.

There are currently two full-time drivers, John “Doc” Holliday and Dan Icenogle, with four that fill in when needed. For Icenogle, the students are more than just another passenger. The retired electric-utility worker said he has enjoyed every day since he was hired full-time in 2009.

He added that he is confident knowing the future is in the hands of the many people he has come to know.

“You hear ‘this younger generation doesn’t amount to anything.’ This has been a real eye-opener to be around the students at Eastern,” Icenogle said. “There are a lot of great young people out there…sometimes they get a bad rap for things that other people do.”

Icenogle said providing the best service possible is the main purpose of the shuttle drivers. He said he likes getting to know his passengers on a first name basis, as well as learning their majors.

“The drivers, they work for the students,” Icenogle said. “[The] students are our bosses, their dues pay our salaries. We like to provide the best service that we can- friendly and accommodating.”

Icenogle said he hopes greeting riders with a smile will brighten up the day for all those who think their 7:30 a.m. wake-up call came too soon.

He said he enjoys assisting students in getting their basic needs taken care of.

The 20-seat buses operate two routes.

Panther Shuttle service will begin 7:30 a.m. on Monday with three additional stops for the first three days at Textbook Rental. As a result of the additional services, the schedule may run a little behind during the first three days.

To see a complete Panther Shuttle schedule and listing of all stops visit: Panther Shuttle Schedule/Stops

Justin Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]