By Southeastern University
The Southeastern University logo and brand are about to be a lot more recognizable around Lakeland and Polk County.
Southeastern and the Polk Transit Authority unveiled the signature piece of their new partnership on Monday, a public bus with the SEU name, fire emblem and tagline proudly printed on both sides with a large picture of the campus on the back. In addition to the new bus, the partnership will also allow all SEU students, faculty and staff to ride for free on all Polk Transit Authority buses.
The bus was on display during a news conference in front of Addison Hall with many students, faculty, staff and community leaders in attendance.
"We believe in the city of Lakeland and Polk County," SEU President Dr. Kent Ingle said to those gathered. "This will now make it even easier for students to get out in the community."
Paul Simmons, director of Polk Transit Services, said the option to ride the bus for free gives members of the SEU community a chance to avoid rising gas prices without sacrificing mobility. Polk Transit buses, which include those in Lakeland's Citrus Connection, run 23 routes six days a week.
"This agreement is a prime example that the Southeastern administration and board truly care about our community," Simmons said.
Public transportation systems around Florida have had success with similar partnerships, said Lisa Bacot of the Florida Public Transportation Association. She mentioned Gainesville and Tallahassee as examples, and added that transit systems throughout the state have seen increased ridership in the past year.
Brian Carroll, Southeastern's vice president for university advancement, said the bus was the culmination of efforts from multiple departments, including student development, enrollment and marketing.
"We want to create a culture of collaboration," Carroll said. "This is just one example of how we're going to collaborate as a team."
To view routes available on Polk Transit buses, click here.