Apparently, there was some sort of malfunction affecting the crossing arms at this intersection where they were down and flashing, indicating that a train was on its way. However, there was no train in sight.
This malfunction seemed to only occur at this intersection. Vehicles passed freely across the tracks at the intersection of North College and Ross streets.
The transit driver, another student and myself waited patiently for the issue to be resolved.
Other vehicles around us either turned around or dodged the arms and crossed the tracks.
After about 20 minutes, the other student and I asked to be let off the bus.
Although it was one of the hottest days of the year, we would have rather walked than wait for what was beginning to look like a problem that wouldn't be fixed for a while.
The driver sympathetically explained that he couldn’t do that; he would be fired if he did.
Ultimately, after waiting approximately 45 minutes to one hour – all without the hint of a train coming – two Segway-riding Tiger Transit officials came to escort the other student and I to another bus that was waiting across the tracks.
The driver of our first bus was left on the other side of the arms. He’d be fired if he turned around.
This wasn’t the first time I had heard of a Tiger Transit driver being threatened with unemployment for making what, to everyone else, would be a perfectly logical decision.
I’ve heard stories of these threats for missing a scheduled stop, for letting students off on the “wrong” side of the street, and for stopping where there isn’t a stop.
While I’m sure that these rules and regulations were designed with the safety and protection of students in mind, how can they expect these people to effectively do their jobs if they have the prospect of unemployment hanging over them for making one little mistake?
Especially in times like these, to get fired for letting a student off a bus directly across the street from the stop is ridiculous, even more so if the student lives on that side to begin with.
Tiger Transit represents Auburn University. The things they do and the policies that they enforce represent Auburn.
I take extreme pride in knowing that I attend one of the most progressive universities there is.
A progressive university cannot and should not be affiliated with an organization’s harsh and unfair treatment of employees.
Come on, Tiger Transit. You can be better than that.