Fordham Ram Van Gets New Vans


Ram Vans have upgraded to a more technologically-advanced system. (Courtesy of Nick DeSilva/The Fordham Ram)

Intercampus transportation at Fordham has undergone a change with the recent addition of 12 new vans to the “Ram Van” fleet. The Ram Vans provide a student shuttle service between Fordham’s Lincoln Center, Rose Hill and Calder Center campuses as well as club and athletics excursions. They are generally replaced every five years.

The Department of University Transportation ordered 18 new vans in March 2021, but due to the global microchip shortage, the arrival of the new vans was pushed back. Following the delay, six new vans arrived in November 2021, and recently, the remaining 12 were delivered. Director of University Transportation, Plinio Gonzalez, GSB ’08, spoke about the importance of having a consistent cycle of new, updated vans in service and ensuring all vans are properly maintained.

“We have 35, 15 passenger vans and most of the time they are all in-use,” said Gonzalez. “The older the vans get, the more often they have to get fixed. Because they are getting fixed, we can’t do additional charters or additional trips for athletics or send more people to Lincoln Center and back, so having these new vans now is extremely helpful.”

Gonzalez estimated that the Ram Van service transports approximately 7,500 students a week.

These trips include the charter of athletic teams, clubs and departments to various off-campus activities, in addition to the regular daily transportation services that take place between both campuses. While the number of students using the vans has increased in conjunction with the pandemic, Gonzalez also cites the rise in class population following the entrance of the classes of 2025 and 2026, as a reason for increased demand.

Gonzalez, a Ram Van driver during his undergraduate time at Fordham, emphasized the importance of safety when transporting students, saying they have, “a responsibility to the Fordham community to have the safest drivers possible, and our drivers understand that responsibility and take on that task of driving as safely as possible.”

In each Ram Van, the installed dashboard camera takes front and rear video that monitors student drivers. It tracks if they are driving safely and following traffic rules.

Gonzalez added, “All vans have telematics which track where the van is and how fast the van is going.”

New technological additions within the vans include a touchscreen dashboard equipped with bluetooth connections and navigation abilities, a better air conditioning system and additional USB charging ports throughout the vans.

Student Ram Van drivers cited an increase in the reliability and smoothness of the new vans while driving.

They also mentioned the new speaker system throughout the vans as a positive. Student driver Liliana Kinnan, GSB ’25, said, “I like the new vans because of the Google Maps and the Apple CarPlay features, and the ease of which I can play music.”

Other student drivers agreed that while the features in the new vans are helpful, getting used to the change takes time. Tony Cueller, FCRH ’23, said, “I like the new vans, except sometimes the settings are a little difficult to reach on the screen. The auto start is also difficult to access, but overall, the new vans are very nice.”