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
"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:
For more information on Stanford Marguerite schedules see: