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Monday, April 15, 2024

Unitrans celebrates 54th birthday with vintage London double-decker buses

Unitrans provided free rides throughout Davis and a parade of its modern and vintage buses

By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org

On March 4, Unitrans celebrated its 54th birthday with festivities including free rides throughout Davis during the day and a bus parade with the newly fixed and painted vintage double-decker buses from London. This marked the first time since the start of the pandemic that the vintage double-deckers have been in service.

“We generally don’t celebrate our birthday,” Unitrans General Manager Jeffrey Flynn said. “Fifty-four is kind of an odd birthday to celebrate, but I think that what me and my students and career team of leadership people thought was that this winter quarter has been hard on everybody, and we needed something to celebrate and feel good about.”

The first Unitrans London double-deckers were in service on Feb. 28, 1968, after they were purchased by ASUCD. The transit system currently has four vintage double-deckers, three of which were available to ride for a free lunchtime shuttle service between the MU and downtown for the celebration. 

“It was so lovely seeing so many generations of buses together at one place,” Unitrans Human Resources Manager Celia Murillo said via email. “It was especially nice seeing all of the generations of Unitrans employees that the event was able to gather.”

For the new year, Flynn said that Unitrans needs more student drivers. The job listing is available on the ASUCD vacancy website.

“We hope that for the fall of 2022, we can start reintroducing a lot of the services that we have been forced to cut because of our staffing shortages,” Flynn said. “We’re trying to hire enough drivers to get ready for fall quarter.”

Murillo, who was hired as a transit conductor in the fall of 2019 and is now working as the human resources manager, said that Unitrans provides a unique working environment.

 “People that want to service the community (in such an important realm that is public transportation), students who swap the books for a shift in a jumpsuit to fix a bus, the stories you hear while being a part of a driver circle — the students really make this company,” Murillo said via email. “The job itself is a super rewarding one, no matter which part of it you work for.” 

Written by: Kaya Do-Khanh — campus@theaggie.org

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