Colgate Cruisers Undergo Facelift, Made More Accessible

In addition to a change of color, the Cruisers are now handicap-accessible.

In addition to a change of color, the Cruisers are now handicap-accessible.

Students returning to Colgate may need to look twice to find a passing Cruiser. That’s because over the summer the university switched to a new bus service, First Transit, which provided brand new maroon buses, a noticeable update from the white vans of past years. Previously, Colgate used the services of Birnie Bus Service, Inc. 

Colgate provides a free shuttle service around Hamilton and the Colgate campus that is open to students and the public.

Alan Leonard, Colgate’s Director of Purchasing, noted that the most obvious change from the old buses was the appearance. 

“First Transit worked with our communication department and the result was the design you are now seeing on campus,” Leonard said. “It includes the Colgate maroon color and the university name, as well as the university seal in the form of a watermark toward the rear of the bus,” Leonard said.

The new Cruisers also feature handicap accessible wheelchair lifts, bike racks requested by Student Government Association (SGA), and route signs above the windshield indicating where the bus is traveling. 

Although first-year Tiffany Qin was not around last year to see the old Cruisers, she says she enjoys using the new ones. 

“I think the seats are comfortable, and the cruiser schedule is more than considerate,” Qin said.

Senior Melissa Persaud believes that the modernizations are improvements to the old Cruisers, but noted that not all of the new buses include radios. 

“I was talking to a Cruiser driver who said that listening to music is a big deal,” Persaud said. “It doesn’t mean that much to those of us riding the Cruisers, but driving around on a quiet night with no radio can get pretty boring for the drivers.”

Persaud added that the updated Cruisers are smaller, and wondered whether or not this would cause problems later in the semester when more students use the Cruisers to avoid walking in the cold weather.

Regardless of the Cruiser’s physical changes, the buses follow the same schedule as last year, with pickup locations at the Colgate Bookstore, Parry’s Hardware, Price Chopper, dining halls and more. 

For more information about the new First Transit services, call 315-228-4287 or visit for the full Cruiser schedule.