Bobcat Express Transportation Services

Update: 9/10/2021 – Bobcat Express Transportation Services For Fall ’21 Semester

MASKS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN WITH RIDERS IN VEHICLE

Regular Schedule 

Bobcat Express will have van service available during the following times:

Beginning on 9/4/2021, the hours of service for Bobcat Express Transportation will be as follows:

Monday – Friday; 7:00a – Midnight

Saturday – Sunday; 10:00a – Midnight

 

Services For Students at Hampton Inn and on Campus

During class days and in class time, the primary mission of the Bobcat Express Services will be supporting the academic program and the back and forth transport for the hotel housed students to have access to campus. The support of students who are housed at the hotel and need transportation back and forth to campus will remain the priority mission over shopping and other interests.

The Bobcat Express van will be making pickups from outside the hotel transporting to campus on the hour and half hour Monday – Friday, beginning at 7am. Between 7am – 10:00am, the van will hold more strictly to this schedule, and will not be available to respond on a “will call” basis. Pickup from outside Chase transporting to hotel will occur on the 15 and 45 minutes on the clock during that same time period. It is expected that sometime around 10am the shuttle will be responding to call-in requests relating to the student academic and community engagement  functions as well as serving as a campus shuttle for the hotel.

Bobcat Express will also answer to provide transportation services for those who have a medical need or appointment. All prescheduled medical appointments should be communicated in advance so that the driver(s) can be prepared for that change in the operations (outlined and link below).

 

Service Learning Shuttle

Monday – Friday, a van is dedicated to provide transportation to students engaged in student teaching and other service learning assignments and programs of community engagements. That van runs strictly on a fixed loop which alternates in direction to encompass reaching all the local (Lewiston) schools during each hour in the following schedule:

Departure from Chase Hall on the half hour, beginning at 8:30a, and traveling to Connors Elementary, Lewiston HS, and Farwell Elementary. This van can also transport and pickup in this schedule going to Trinity Jubilee Center and Root Cellar.

Departure from Chase Hall on the hour, beginning at 9:00a, and traveling to Geiger Elementary, Montello Elementary, and McMahon Elementary.

During the afternoon (beginning at 3:00p), the Service Learning transitions to support the students who are engaging with programs out in the community at locations such as Tree Street Youth, Root Cellar, B-Street Clinic, AK Health and Social Services, as well as Hillview Community Center, Boys & Girls Club, PAL Rec, and Center for Womens Wisdom. There is a 2nd vehicle which assists with these transportation requests during this time, up until around 5:30p

 

Contacting For Service

The primary contact # for Bobcat Express services is (207) 786-8300. During the weekdays daytime hours of operation, there will be student dispatchers available to answer the phone the majority of the time. (UPDATE: The student dispatcher schedule is not yet filled, and it will likely be a couple weeks into the semester before that is fully in place). If the phone is not immediately answered, it will forward to the Campus Safety dispatcher after the 4th ring (it will similarly forward and transfer to the Campus Safety dispatcher during nights and weekends).

It is recommended to visually check on whether the van is present before calling. We request that phone calls be limited so as not to interfere with other operations which the Campus Safety dispatcher performs; please do not make repeated calls to check on ETA after a ride request has already been made with a confirmation that the driver will be sent, and try to limit the number of calls being made from a group request. The additional volume of calls does not speed up the service, and it may hamper other important aspects of the Campus Safety operations.

 

Shuttle Destinations

During the weekdays in class times, the Bobcat Express will be almost exclusively dedicated to the transportation needs associated with the academic and community engagement missions sponsored by the college programs. The Bobcat Express will also attend to medical appointment needs during all hours of service. AFTER 5:30p (Weekdays) and on weekends, AND ONLY DURING THOSE TIMES, the Bobcat Shuttle can also assist with going to local businesses for leisure interests, limited to locations which are along a triangular service route to and from the campus and the hotel and the shopping centers in Auburn. The van(s) will pick up on campus at 5:30p primarily going to Walmart, and will then operate more along a limited route in a loop connecting campus and hotel with some of the available leisure locations. The van will pick up from campus each hour on the hour to start on the routes. A few popular destinations located within the range of that loop are featured below:

Walmart – In addition to being one of the largest Wal-Mart in the state you can easily walk to Burger King or Lowe’s.

Kohl’s/Starbucks – Kohl’s is a great place to get clothes, pots and pans, bedding and more, and Starbucks is nice place to get a caffeinated beverage and some quiet time away from campus.

Auburn Mall/Goodwill/Panera/Shaws – The Mall has several stores – Check out the online stores directory.

Auburn Plaza/Flagship Cinema*/TJ Maxx – In addition to those listed you will find Bed Bath and Beyond, the Dollar Tree, Craft Mania, and several other stores. *(Be mindful that if a movie showing is ending at a time beyond the Bobcat Express hours of service, an alternate travel arrangement may be necessary using Uber or Lyft for return)

All of these destinations are in a relatively close walking distance to each other and a short drive from campus. Businesses may have reduced hours and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is advisable to check and confirm before making a ride reservation. Depending on the demand for services and a determination of a competing priority service of the primary mission, the Bobcat Express may not be able to immediately respond to the leisure interests, or there may be an extended delay experienced. The driver establish whether there is an agreed upon pick up time, or whether a call should be made for the driver to respond. Bobcat Express does not have the resources to be taken as a privatized service such as Lyft or Uber which respond to the individual beckoning call; the service is established to provide a benefit for the most possible rather than being catered to a limited few.

Restaurants which are within the range of this service area include: Buffalo Wild Wings, Appleby’s Longhorn, Ninety-Nine, Lotus, and Margueritas in Auburn. Other restaurants in the Lewiston downtown include Mother India, Forage, Baxter Pub, Fishbones, and DaVinci’s, and others in that immediate vicinity.

It is recommended that students who wish to make leisure trips to Walmart and locations in that vicinity, during weekday-daytime, familiarize themselves with the citylink local public transportation bus schedule. The bus picks up and drops off on campus (College St on the corner of the Quad across from Rand Hall). Pick up is 19 minutes after the hour, every hour from 6:19a – 5:19p and goes directly to a first stop at Walmart. The return pick up from Walmart is every hour on the hour beginning at 7:00a – 6:00p, and coming directly to the stop at the campus. Similarly, there is a citylink bus which picks up and drops off on campus at Central Ave and Campus Ave heading out to destinations on Sabattus St, including Hannaford Supermarket and a couple nail salons which have been popular with some students. Bobcat Express will not respond to calls requesting transportation to and from these locations during hours when the citylink bus is operating and can accommodate.

 

Safe Rides (Escorts)

Later in the evening, particularly after 10:00p (and until the end of service hours, which is currently at Midnight), the Bobcat Express will provide rides in close proximity around campus to assist with students getting to some of the peripheral residences. It is requested that as much as possible students will meet the van for pick up at Chase Hall and limit the amount of calls being made to the Campus Safety dispatcher. The van will be remaining closer to campus and back and forth to hotel to facilitate with students needing to get across campus and back to residences.

Making an Advance Reservation (Limited to Medical and Prescription)

For pre-scheduled medical appointments and prescription pick ups, please utilize the online form to make a reservation in advance. Reservations with set up appointments in the calendar will be communicated to the driver to make that a priority in services.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Transportation Coordinator -David Chick at 207-786-6337 or by email- dchick@bates.edu.