Photo courtesy of Sara Schmitt

Groome Transportation, Tech’s primary contractor for transportation services, added three new buses to its Stinger fleet beginning this semester.

The three new buses are currently servicing the Green Route and were added primarily to accommodate the new Tech Square Express Route (T/S Express), which runs directly from the Clough Commons to the Scheller College of Business and uses a total of two Stinger buses.

The new Stingers have a sculpted cabin, similar to the current single-door Stingers, as well as forward-facing seats. The buses have two sets of doors plus an additional handicap access ramp in the rear. The new Stingers can hold up to 41 seated passengers

The new buses have the most seating capacity of all current models, with the one-door model holding 36 seated passengers and the two-door models holding 32. The Tech Trolley Route’s buses only hold 25, but are designed to accommodate a larger number of standing passengers than standard Stinger-type buses.

The new buses are made by Starcraft Bus, a subsidiary of Forest River, Inc. The Stingers recently added to Groome’s fleet are of the Allstar XL model, built on a TC chassis produced by
International.

The buses are wrapped with the same graphics as all other Stingers in Groome’s fleet, which includes a logo featuring Buzz along with white and gold stylings along both sides of the bus. The T/S Express was added as a result of a poll conducted last year by Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) gauging student interest in new routes, services and potential increases in the transportation fee. Although the route was introduced this semester, there was no increase in the transportation fee.

The route runs on weekdays during the day, with hours similar to the Green Route.

It is also the only daytime route to stop at Clough Commons and the only Stinger route that services Tech Square — except on the rare occasion that a Stinger is allocated to the Tech Trolley route. The only other route to visit Clough Commons is the Midnight Rambler, which operates using the Tech Trolley buses.

As the T/S Express only operates with two buses, the new Stingers have resulted in a net increase to buses on the Green Route, with a significant increase in seating capacity due to the higher number of seats on the new buses.

The Green Route is a niche route that has stops along West Campus as well as service to Graduate Living Center and the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The additional seating on the Green Route comes alongside increased inconsistencies with the tracking software.

PTS has no plans to replace any existing buses with these new models, according to David Crites, Transportation Operations Manager for PTS. The two-door buses are Apollo model buses produced by Glaval Bus, also a subsidiary of Forest River. The Trolleys are Villager models produced by Rohrer.