November 15, 2002  
 

 

Meet Ivan Jackson, Your Neighborhood Marguerite Driver

By Linda DuShane White

Marguerite driver Ivan Jackson (Photo by Kathy Bellevin)

Most of us have taken the Marguerite at one time or another. Others use the shuttle every day. But what it is like sitting behind the wheel of a shuttle bus?

If you havenít met Marguerite driver Ivan Jackson, youíre in for a treat. Jackson is one of the many shuttle drivers who make getting around SLAC and Stanford a little easier.

"Prior to the semester starting it was pretty quiet out here. It gave me a chance to get familiar with the route. There was Ė and still is Ė a lot of construction," said Jackson. "Overall it is a great experience. It is like riding around in a country club atmosphere but Iím not in a golf cart, Iím in a bus. Thereís an aura out here. Every one here is into their education. I feel that way about my bus. Iím a professional driver. Iíve gotten my training, and now I feel like Iím a part of this whole atmosphere. The faculty and the staff, everyoneís friendly."

Before coming to Stanford, Jackson worked for the San Francisco Airport rental car shuttle, a very different working atmosphere. He says of his Stanford route, "I really enjoy it. I started here in September. I was assigned the B Counterclockwise route on Campus, which goes from the CalTrain station and back around to the Campus."

"No matter what is going on I keep an attitude that Iím a professional. Weíre providing a service and I enjoy it. Stanford has itís own transit system. Like San Francisco has Muni, Stanford has Marguerite."

Free transportation has been offered at Stanford since the 1880s, starting with a horse and buggy, then graduating to electric streetcars in 1929. The Marguerite came in 1973, and was named after one of the Stanford family horses.

The SFO Shuttle Bus Company began operating the Marguerite shuttle service in September. Making improvements in service and driver training is important to them. According to Helmut Bredow, Marguerite Project Manager, Jackson exemplifies this service. "Heís one of our stars. In fact, as new drivers come in, theyíll ride with him to get the customer service focus that he has. Itís just the way you approach people."

Jackson emphasizes that in training drivers, "Safety is the number one priority, customer service is number two and scheduling is number three. There are some things with scheduling that you just canít do because of traffic, or the bus could break down, but safety is always first."

"Iím starting to have a rapport with the regular customers. I round the corner and see their faces light up. ĎThere he is, heís on time, that means Iím going to make it to my train.í Iím surprised when I get to the end of the line how many people say Ďthank you.í Itís a free service. That makes you feel good, too. Weíre transporting precious cargo, human beings you know."

Jackson has been educating himself about all the destinations on Campus and often provides an informal tour. Marguerite on Campus is open to all, as is the SLAC Marguerite. The SLAC Commuter Marguerite, however, is open only to the SLAC community.

For information on SLAC Marguerite schedules see: http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/sem/transportation/caltrainbus.html

For more information on Stanford Marguerite schedules see: http://facilities.stanford.edu/transportation/marguerite/MargueriteSched.shtml  

 

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Last update Friday November 15, 2002 by Kathy B