September 9, 2003

A New Year, a New TCAT

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For the typical Cornell student, an evening out usually starts and ends with the ever-so-frequent ride on Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) busses. Whether it be to grab a bite to eat in Collegetown, to visit a friend on North Campus, or to attend a party on West Campus, students can depend on the 91, 92, or 93 buses until 2 a.m. What most riders, however, fail to notice are the silent, tolerant, nonetheless attentive drivers who vicariously revisit the infamous world of college life.

The drivers who experience college students in such conditions opened up during a recent ride-along through some of the most common on-campus routes. Drivers confessed that the interactions and conversations they inadvertently listen in on are rather entertaining. Despite the late night crowdedness and rowdy behavior on weekends, the drivers unanimously admitted that they do, in fact, enjoy the company of the students.

One driver, Mike Delavern, recalled an incident that occurred recently: “A group of boys hoped on the bus, and I couldn’t help but listen to how one guy told his buddies that he was planning on doing such and such to some girl. It was really funny, and I really do love these kids. They really are pretty neat.”

He also commented on his surprise with the forwardness of young ladies these days. Delavern claimed that some of the most entertaining riders are the bold girls who pick up boys on the way to fraternity parties.

Although some accounts seem harmless and entertaining, no one can forget the fragrant rides when a freshman “stud” decided to funnel one too many beers at a party or the sorority sister had a little too much fun at Johnny O’s ladies’ night. The lucky drivers are those who receive a warning lunge to the door that indicates that he or she needs to pull over quickly to avoid a nauseating 2:30 a.m. clean-up.

Drivers can lighten the atmosphere in such situations with humor.

“It was probably one of the most embarrassing nights that year,” a member of the class of 2005 recalled about a night involving excessive consumption. “To make matters even worse, the bus driver made puking sounds as I got off on north.”

But not all riders of the later hours of the evening are returning from a wild and crazy night. Some are finishing up a long night in a library or a tiring shift at work and loathe the stereotypical college belligerence. One Ithaca community citizen, Toby Crainer, said. “The last thing that I want to see after an eight-hour shift are loud, inconsiderate college drunkards, but hey, I have no choice.”

So the next time you ride home on that late night bus, look around and you may see some entertaining stuff!

Archived article by Sejal Udani