This is the fourth installment of The Collegian's UR Employee Spotlight Series. The series tells the stories of University of Richmond staff members who tirelessly help students and work behind the scenes to better campus life.
Bill Coleman, donning his red cap, sat at a table with his hands clasped. It was a rare moment of peace for him.
As a representative from Groome Transportation, which has a contract with the University of Richmond to provide transportation services, Coleman manages the shuttle routes, supervises drivers and solves complaints. Although his list of responsibilities does not normally include being a driver, he is driving one of the buses this semester while he searches for more employees.
Most of the shuttle drivers work between 35 and 45 hours per week.
Coleman works 60 hours per week.
When asked if he ever felt motion sickness during his weekly driving routes, he laughed.
“I guess it could come with the job,” he said. “But personally I don’t feel queasy after driving, except I do get a little bleary-eyed on Friday nights after I’m done for the day.”
Before starting his career at the University of Richmond, Coleman ran a courier service in Long Island for more than 20 years.
“I’ve been in transportation service nearly all my life,” he said.
He enjoys driving the students around, and said there had not been many complaints or rude incidents.
“I like the staff here. I like the school and the students,” Coleman said. “Groome still has around five years left in its contract with the school, so I hope I can continue to work here as long as I can.”
Coleman will be 66 by the time he plans on retiring from his post at the university.
He expressed that he wants all UR students to know that the drivers are here to get everyone where they need to go whether it’s the shopping centers, the train station or Kroger.
Sometimes, he said, the shuttle drivers raced around the routes because of the way they were drawn up. As a result, some drivers might arrive too early to a stop and leave ahead of time, and students then call the transportation office saying they haven’t been picked up.
Coleman said he was working on fixing those issues and reminded drivers to be exact with their schedule.
Regardless of the hurdles that the shuttle service faces, many students appreciate the hard work of the drivers who get them where they need to go.
“It’s nice that the shuttles are offered so I don’t have to Uber,” Alice Vo, sophomore, said. “Most of the drivers are really sweet and understanding.”
Many students do not have cars during their first year at UR, so shuttles help students adjust to campus and the city of Richmond during this crucial time.
For Coleman, he’s happy to provide students with a means to get off campus, whether it is to explore the city, volunteer at a local non-profit or to simply shop for groceries.
“That’s what I’m here for,” he said.
Contact features writer Sunny Lim at firstname.lastname@example.org.