I believe we should bring back the minibusses. The proposed solution of using an external company is not adequate and prohibitive to societies, especially smaller societies.
The external solution has shown to be an unacceptable to this situation. A clear example is whilst dealing with them with the SU-organised MiDAS training. I know three people who have gone down to PCT to hand their details for training due to take place on the 23rd of February. They turned all but one away to the SU, who sent them directly back to PCT. As of writing this letter, only one has still been able to hand their details in. This training is very late into the academic year; we’re five weeks into semester 2. We’re lucky enough that we have a MiDAS-trained driver in our society from last year and can run events, but I know other societies who are not as fortunate.
Their rates of minibus hire are prohibitively expensive for trips. 20% of our Ben Nevis residential tickets were bus hire alone, not including fuel. The buses are inefficient; we have had an average of sub 25mpg over all our uses of the minibuses recently. This increased cost amounts to a substantial hike in ticket prices for events we run. The lack of fuel card use requires a committee member to fund the significant amounts themselves for later reimbursement. These costs directly impact the number of trips we can organise for our students in the society.
The abovementioned issues drive us to consider using society members’ personal transport. Operating multiple vehicles for the same event unnecessarily increases the likelihood of an incident occurring whilst travelling. Using our cars increases the environmental impact as we would have to run three vehicles to have the same carrying capacity as one single minibus.