Texas Tech students can purchase bus tickets to visit family for Thanksgiving and winter break. According to the Parent and Family Relations website, destinations include Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin for both breaks.
However, students living in El Paso can only shuttle for Thanksgiving break.
Director of Family Outreach & Engagement Christine Self said ticketing is purchased on an individual basis on the BreakShuttle website.
“It just got so popular and so big that it became really too big for our department to handle,” Self said. “That’s when we found BreakShuttle, and they started doing all the ticketing and all that stuff, so that we didn’t have to try to manage that ourselves.”
Self said the partnership between Tech and BreakShuttle began about 10 years ago. Before the partnership, Tech bussed students to Dallas and Houston starting in 2009.
Beginning in 2012, BreakShuttle is a transportation service that allows students to go back to their families for the holidays. BreakShuttle’s director of operations Terence Miller said the company partners with schools and contracts third party charter buses for the job.
“We have a list of trusted vendors,” Miller said. “We’ve done extensive research on (them) or have had previous just relationships with working with schools.”
Miller said the contract process is rather simple. BreakShuttle and the partner company send the contracts to each other. BreakShuttle provides the dates, location and passengers while the bus companies provide transportation.
BreakShuttle serves 10 universities across the country. As the company approaches its 10-year anniversary, Miller said the company’s goal is growth and maintaining relationships.
“Our goal is to just add schools every year, maybe one or two schools a year,” Miller said. “That’s what we would like to do, is just be able to offer more kids these types of services. You know, moms and dads; they worry their tails off their young daughters and sons driving eight hours across state lines and a nice luxury bus. It takes the pressure off.”
The company’s COVID-19 policy’s are the university’s policies. Self said students who are riding a bus must wear a mask in accordance with CDC guidelines.
“We have to do what’s best, what we think is best for the situation and we talked to the schools,” Miller said. “We listened especially to Texas Tech because Christine was very, very good about being forthcoming about, ‘Hey, this is what we want our policy.’”
For more information about bus trips, visit the Parent and Family Relations website.