By: Kayla Villegas
“At first, I didn’t want to seem too eager and answer right away,” Spencer Laughman, Tiger Transport employee, admitted about answering Tiger Transport calls. “But the phone only rings twice.”
Laughman is celebrating his sixth day on the job.
“The mail kids have a so much more important job,” Laughman said.
Witt transportation service has seen some new changes. Tiger Transport, once known as “Witt Escort,” offers taxi-like service for students to and from locations within the university district seven days a week at no charge.
Students are now able to download the mobile application, “Tiger Transport,” allowing them to login with their student ID and enter a request for pickup where and when they specify. The request then loads into a driver’s iPad, directing him or her to the next pickup location.
For Tiger Transport employee Olivia Gildea, her job gives her the occasional love interest.
“He fell into my van one night and ended up getting my number,” she said, referring to the guy she currently classifies under “talking” status. “And now, we’re like – a thing.”
In a span of two hours, the drivers met an aspiring Fulbright scholar scared about the uncertainty of her future, a gamer who was busy playing “One Night Ultimate” and Cassandra, whose mantra includes three words: “Cheer is Life.”
As the squealing van drove past students jumping from puddle to puddle and party-goers holding hands on their walk home, Laughman, intensely fixated on the road shared his love for Stephen King and Larry McMurtry novels.
In the midst of conversation, he was quickly interrupted by another call of duty.
“Alright, we’re on the move, I guess,” he said into his walkie talkie to Gildea. The two Tiger Transport employees switch on and off between answering calls and physically driving the callers throughout the shift.
Gildea and Laughman both have faced a unique challenge in the few days of employment – navigating campus. Despite a few wrong turns, the two both demonstrated concentration and efficiency on the road. True professionals.
In recent years, Tiger Transport has shifted gears, so to speak, and will only take students on transports to academic and administrative buildings, residence halls, campus houses, parked cars, etc. In the past, the service experienced multiple calls in one night requesting drop offs from party to party and finishing at the local bar. They no longer wish to be used as a “drunk bus.”
No matter the circumstance, students’ safety always comes first. The Wittenberg Police Department will always send a police escort when the circumstance arises – no matter how inebriated a student may be.
Tiger Transport’s main concern is guaranteeing the safety of all Wittenberg students. Aside from the bustle of the job, the Wittenberg Police and Security department has created its own sense of family in the small annex of Recitation Hall. With a wide variety of calls and the occasional interruption of vomit reports in Tower Hall, every night is different for the 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. shift.
Regardless of late hours, Laughman and Gildea both consider their employment a pretty great gig.