Risk Reduction


Student transport to and from community sites is an issue in many experiential learning environments. This section includes information on the preferred hierarchy of transportation options and gives further details on University-owned vehicles and public transportation.


Transportation Hierarchy:

Student transportation to off campus events for service-learning or volunteer services can present several issues involving the transportation to and from such activities. The following transportation hierarchy is intended to allow users to evaluate various options in the context of budget, location, public safety and other factors. The preferred result is to use the highest option practicable considering the various factors and constraints.

  1. Bus or other commercial vehicle with professional driver
  2. Rental vehicle / van (not 15 passenger) with a faculty / staff driver
  3. Rental vehicle / van (not 15 passenger) with a student driver- must be approved by GVSU Public Safety.
  4. Faculty / Staff personal vehicle with owner driver – owner insurance to respond to claims
  5. Student driving personal vehicle with other students in car – owner insurance to respond claims
  6. Student driving other student vehicle or faculty / staff vehicle – owner insurance to respond to claims: NOT RECOMMENDED

Additional constraints on Drivers of University Vehicles:

  • All drivers, including undergraduate students, must have a valid drivers license and be approved through the Office of Risk Management as being an eligible driver after a motor vehicle record check is conducted. In addition, each driver must have completed the driver training program on Blackboard. The driver must have his/her license in their possession when driving the vehicle. This requirement will not apply to an individual driving his / her own vehicle with no passengers.
  • All Van drivers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Drivers will obey all motor vehicle laws, including posted speed limits.
  • Every passenger and driver will wear a properly adjusted seat belt any time the van is moving and/or in traffic. This includes passengers who are sleeping.
  • An awake, alert, person must be in the front passenger seat of any van when:
    • Any trip is over two hours.
    • When travel takes place in the dark
    • On any return trip after competition
    • When possible, there will be two eligible drivers on any trip over 4 hours.
  • All equipment must be stored completely under the seats and/or behind the back seat (and may not block the drivers view).There must be nothing under the passenger’s feet, in front of the doors, or otherwise blocking access to, or exit from the van. If something is belted into a seat, the number of passengers allowed in the van will be reduced by the number of belts or spaces taken up.
  • Passengers must be able to exit, and emergency personnel must be able to access, the van quickly in case of emergency.
  • The driver of the vehicle cannot be using a cell phone at anytime.
  • All vehicles should have a Proof of Insurance Card in the vehicle. However, the driver should double-check before each use.

Public Transportation:

The most frequently used mode of experiential learning transportation is The Rapid bus. The cost associated with use of bus transportation is the responsibility of the student but it is usually free for GVSU students, faculty and staff.

The following steps should be taken when using public transportation:

  1. The route should be planned well in advance
  2. Phone numbers for the community site should be taken with the student
  3. “Emergency money” should be carried, in case a student should unexpectedly have to take an additional ride, transfer or use a cab.
  4. The number of a taxi-cab company should be taken if the student should get lost or stranded. See student resource section for a listing of numbers.

For information on the Rapid or to plan a trip using public transportation, students should visit the Rapid Web Site:  http://www.ridetherapid.org/.




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Page last modified March 13, 2012