UCSD Shuttle Driver Shares His Memories, Hopes and Regrets


Guardian:
How long have you been working at UCSD?

Ted Jacobo: I started working here in October 1991. I worked as a bus mechanic during the graveyard shift for my first seven years. However, I felt I was getting too old for that job, so when a driving job opened up, I applied for it and have been driving since July 1998.

G: Are there student drivers with whom you develop friendships with or get used to seeing?

TJ: When I was younger — when I first started driving — I did develop some friendly relationships with some student drivers. Today, I enjoy the student population, but since I’m older I have far less in common with them than I once did.

G: Do you ever get attached to the people you see? Is it hard to have to get used to not seeing them anymore when they don’t take your route?

TJ: Yes, there were — and are — some passengers who I do miss. After a few years of driving, you get to know them on a personal level. Proud parents and grandparents tell you all about their children and grandchildren. Sometimes you get to see and meet them. So yes, you get to know them quite well.

G: What’s the best part of your job?

TJ: The best part of the job is meeting new passengers. You never know where your next friend is. People here are very interesting. Sometime I meet a new professor that does very interesting work or research. Also, I’m amazed at students and how bright they are, especially with today’s technology. And how motivated they are.

G: Are you a stickler for checking ID’s? Or do you like to let it slide?

TJ: I get to drive routes where it doesn’t require me to be a stickler on checking ID unless a passenger gets out of line. But we do have routes where IDs are required, such as the Arriba and Nobel routes.

G: What are some changes you’ve noticed during the time that you’ve been a shuttle driver?

TJ: We’ve added GPS to locate our buses, which I think is an awesome feature for passengers. We’ve expanded some routes, like our Coaster West route. We’ve changed some routes to accommodate campus needs. The passenger load is always increasing. The campus has always been putting up new buildings, which I think is great. After all the changes, the campus is still a beautiful place to drive around and I feel very fortunate to be able to do so.

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