Because Miami students who live off-campus often face a long walk to their classes, many opt to use the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) university bus service. Although riding the bus may be just another part of the students’ groggy morning commute, the buses are operated by dedicated individuals who spend their days making students’ lives easier.
Kenyatta McCrary of Cincinnati has been driving for almost 13 years, though she has only been with BCRTA for two years. She got her start by giving driving lessons on weekends and driving tour buses of eighth-grade students on class trips to places such as the White House and Disneyworld. She also drives some Miami sports teams to their away games.
“My mom drove the city buses in Cincinnati for a living,” says McCrary. “So I guess it was instilled in me.”
Before she became a driver, she was a preschool teacher at The Goddard School in CIncinnati.
“I didn’t like dealing with the preschoolers parents,” she says. “I’d much rather work with eighth graders or college students.”
Shawnda Robertson has also been driving for BCRTA for about two years. Outside of work she likes to be outdoors, ride her motorcycle and dance.
“I’ve been dancing for as long as I remember,” Robertson says. “My mom has a video of me dancing when I was a baby.”
Robertson likes to play music from a portable speaker on her routes. Her playlist contains a broad variety of music from Justin Bieber to Eminem, from country music to Ciara.
“I don’t put anything offensive on there,” she says. “None of that ‘kill your grandma’ rap.”
Additionally, Robertson volunteers with Ross Animal Shelter in Oxford, where she can sign a different animal out every weekend and foster it for a couple days to get them out of the shelter.
Dan Bogan, or “Dan the Bus Man,” as he introduces himself, has been with BCRTA for three years and primarily drives the U3 route which goes around campus and to Kroger. He began driving after he retired. Before that he worked at Procter and Gamble doing formula design.
“Retirement isn’t what they make it seem on ‘The Price is Right,’” Bogan said. “I wanted something else to do.”
Bogan has two adult sons in their late 30s and one adopted son who is 10 years old. With the sizable age difference Bogan’s adopted son is able to have a better relationship with Bogan’s eight grandkids, whose ages range from three to 10 years old.
Bogan is also very active in his church through which he is able to volunteer with older people.
According to the drivers, there are certain things that students can do to make their jobs easier such as using crosswalks, pulling the wire when they want the driver to make a stop, not running up to the bus when the doors are closed and being patient with the drivers as they are doing their best to stick to the schedule.
The drivers all agree that the best part about driving for BCRTA is the students.
“Just about every single one of them will greet me or talk to me on the bus,” says Robertson. “If they don’t I’ll ask them why not”.
Bogan also makes it a point to greet his riders when they get on and off his bus.
“Most of them are really good kids,” he says. “I just have to remind myself that I was in their place before.”